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ARM'D year! year of the struggle! No dainty rhymes or sentimental love verses for you,  
 terrible year!
Not you as some pale poetling, seated at a desk, lisp- 
 ing cadenzas piano;
But as a strong man, erect, clothed in blue clothes,  
 advancing, carrying a rifle on your shoulder,
With well-gristled body and sunburnt face and hands—  
 with a knife in the belt at your side,
As I heard you shouting loud—your sonorous voice  
 ringing across the continent;
Your masculine voice, O year, as rising amid the great  
Amid the men of Manhattan I saw you, as one of the  
 workmen, the dwellers in Manhattan;
Or with large steps crossing the prairies out of Illinois  
 and Indiana,
Rapidly crossing the West with springy gait, and de- 
 scending the Alleghanies;
Or down from the great lakes, or in Pennsylvania, or on  
 deck along the Ohio river;
Or southward along the Tennessee or Cumberland rivers,  
 or at Chattanooga on the mountain top,
Saw I your gait and saw I your sinewy limbs, clothed  
 in blue, bearing weapons, robust year;
Heard your determin'd voice, launch'd forth again and  
Year that suddenly sang by the mouths of the round  
 lipp'd cannon,
I repeat you, hurrying, crashing, sad, distracted year.
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