Leaves of Grass (1881-82)
CITY OF SHIPS.
|(O the black ships! O the fierce ships!
|O the beautiful sharp-bow'd steam-ships and sail-ships!)
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|City of the world! (for all races are here,
|All the lands of the earth make contributions here;)
|City of the sea! city of hurried and glittering tides!
|City whose gleeful tides continually rush or recede, whirling in
and out with eddies and foam!
|City of wharves and stores—city of tall façades of marble and
|Proud and passionate city—mettlesome, mad, extravagant city!
|Spring up O city—not for peace alone, but be indeed yourself,
|Fear not—submit to no models but your own O city!
|Behold me—incarnate me as I have incarnated you!
|I have rejected nothing you offer'd me—whom you adopted I
|Good or bad I never question you—I love all—I do not con-
demn any thing,
|I chant and celebrate all that is yours—yet peace no more,
|In peace I chanted peace, but now the drum of war is mine,
|War, red war is my song through your streets, O city!