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With Antecedents.



1WITH antecedents; With my fathers and mothers, and the accumulations  
 of past ages;
With all which, had it not been, I would not now be  
 here, as I am:
With Egypt, India, Phenicia, Greece and Rome; With the Kelt, the Scandinavian, the Alb, and the  
With antique maritime ventures,—with laws, artizan- 
 ship, wars and journeys;
With the poet, the skald, the saga, the myth, and the  
With the sale of slaves—with enthusiasts—with the  
 troubadour, the crusader, and the monk;
With those old continents whence we have come to this  
 new continent;
With the fading kingdoms and kings over there; With the fading religions and priests; With the small shores we look back to from our own  
 large and present shores;
With countless years drawing themselves onward, and  
 arrived at these years;
You and Me arrived—America arrived, and making  
 this year;
This year! sending itself ahead countless years to come.


2O but it is not the years—it is I—it is You; We touch all laws, and tally all antecedents; We are the skald, the oracle, the monk, and the knight  
 —we easily include them, and more;
We stand amid time, beginningless and endless—we  
 stand amid evil and good;
All swings around us—there is as much darkness as  
The very sun swings itself and its system of planets  
 around us;
Its sun, and its again, all swing around us.
  [ begin page 200 ]ppp.00270.202.jpg 3As for me, (torn, stormy, even as I, amid these vehe- 
 ment days,)
I have the idea of all, and am all, and believe in all; I believe materialism is true, and spiritualism is true—  
 I reject no part.
4Have I forgotten any part? Come to me, whoever and whatever, till I give you  
5I respect Assyria, China, Teutonia, and the Hebrews; I adopt each theory, myth, god, and demi-god; I see that the old accounts, bibles, genealogies, are true,  
 without exception;
I assert that all past days were what they should have  
And that they could no-how have been better than they  
And that to-day is what it should be—and that Amer- 
 ica is,
And that to-day and America could no-how be better  
 than they are.


6In the name of These States, and in your and my  
 name, the Past,
And in the name of These States, and in your and my  
 name, the Present time.
7I know that the past was great, and the future will be  
And I know that both curiously conjoint in the present  
(For the sake of him I typify—for the common average  
 man's sake—your sake, if you are he;)
And that where I am, or you are, this present day, there  
 is the centre of all days, all races,
And there is the meaning, to us, of all that has ever  
 come of races and days, or ever will come.
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