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Books by Whitman



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IN CABIN'D SHIPS AT SEA.

1

IN cabin'd ships, at sea,
The boundless blue on every side expanding,
With whistling winds and music of the waves—the
large imperious waves—In such,
Or some lone bark, buoy'd on the dense marine,
Where, joyous, full of faith, spreading white sails,
She cleaves the ether, mid the sparkle and the foam of
day, or under many a star at night,
By sailors young and old, haply will I, a reminiscence
of the land, be read,
In full rapport at last.




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2

Here are our thoughts—voyagers' thoughts,
Here not the land, firm land, alone appears, may then by
them be said;
The sky o'erarches here—we feel the undulating deck be-
neath our feet,
We feel the long pulsation—ebb and flow of endless mo-
tion;
The tones of unseen mystery—the vague and vast sugges-
tions of the briny world—the liquid-flowing sylla-
bles,
The perfume, the faint creaking of the cordage, the melan-
choly rhythm,
The boundless vista, and the horizon far and dim, are all
here,
And this is Ocean's poem.


3

Then falter not, O book! fulfil your destiny!
You, not a reminiscence of the land alone,
You too, as a lone bark, cleaving the ether—purpos'd I
know not whither—yet ever full of faith,
Consort to every ship that sails—sail you!
Bear forth to them, folded, my love —(Dear mariners!
for you I fold it here, in every leaf;)
Speed on, my Book! spread your white sails, my little
bark, athwart the imperious waves!
Chant on—sail on—bear o'er the boundless blue, from
me, to every shore,
This song for mariners and all their ships.


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