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Unnamed Lands.

Part of the cluster LEAVES OF GRASS.


1NATIONS ten thousand years before These States, and  
 many times ten thousand years before These  
Garner'd clusters of ages, that men and women like us  
 grew up and travel'd their course, and pass'd on;
What vast-built cities—what orderly republics—what  
 pastoral tribes and nomads;
What histories, rulers, heroes, perhaps transcending all  
What laws, customs, wealth, arts, traditions; What sort of marriage—what costumes—what physi- 
 ology and phrenology;
What of liberty and slavery among them—what they  
 thought of death and the soul;
Who were witty and wise—who beautiful and poetic—  
 who brutish and undevelop'd;
Not a mark, not a record remains—And yet all remains.
2O I know that those men and women were not for  
 nothing, any more than we are for nothing;
  [ begin page 344 ]ppp.00270.346.jpg I know that they belong to the scheme of the world  
 every bit as much as we now belong to it, and as  
 all will henceforth belong to it.
3Afar they stand—yet near to me they stand, Some with oval countenances, learn'd and calm, Some naked and savage—Some like huge collections of  
Some in tents—herdsmen, patriarchs, tribes, horsemen, Some prowling through woods—Some living peaceably  
 on farms, laboring, reaping, filling barns,
Some traversing paved avenues, amid temples, palaces,  
 factories, libraries, shows, courts, theatres, won- 
 derful monuments.
4Are those billions of men really gone? Are those women of the old experience of the earth  
Do their lives, cities, arts, rest only with us? Did they achieve nothing for good, for themselves?
5I believe of all those billions of men and women that  
 fill'd the unnamed lands; every one exists this  
 hour, here or elsewhere, invisible to us, in exact  
 proportion to what he or she grew from in life,  
 and out of what he or she did, felt, became, loved,  
 sinn'd, in life.
6I believe that was not the end of those nations, or any  
 person of them, any more than this shall be the  
 end of my nation, or of me;
Of their languages, governments, marriage, literature,  
 products, games, wars, manners, crimes, prisons,  
 slaves, heroes, poets, I suspect their results  
 curiously await in the yet unseen world—coun- 
 terparts of what accrued to them in the seen  
I suspect I shall meet them there, I suspect I shall there find each old particular of those  
 unnamed lands.

Part of the cluster LEAVES OF GRASS.

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