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I Was Looking a Long While


I WAS looking a long while for the history of the past  
 for myself, and for these chants—and now I  
 have found it;
It is not in those paged fables in the libraries, (them  
 I neither accept nor reject;)
It is no more in the legends than in all else; It is in the present—it is this earth to-day; It is in Democracy—in this America—the old world  
It is the life of one man or one woman to-day, the  
 average man of to-day;
It is languages, social customs, literatures, arts; It is the broad show of artificial things, ships, ma- 
 chinery, politics, creeds, modern improvements,  
 and the interchange of nations,
All for the average man of to-day.
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