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Years of the Unperform'd


YEARS of the unperform'd! your horizon rises—I see it  
 parting away for more august dramas;
I see not America only—I see not only Liberty's nation,  
 but other nations preparing;
I see tremendous entrances and exits—I see new com- 
 binations—I see the solidarity of races;
I see that force advancing with irresistible power on the  
 world's stage;
(Have the old forces played their parts? are the acts  
 suitable to them closed?)
I see Freedom, completely arm'd, and victorious, and  
 very haughty, with Law by her side, both issuing  
 forth against the idea of caste;
—What historic denouements are these we so rapidly  
I see men marching and countermarching by swift mil- 
I see the frontiers and boundaries of the old aristocracies  
I see the landmarks of European kings removed; I see this day the People beginning their landmarks, (all  
 others give way;)
Never were such sharp questions ask'd as this day; Never was average man, his soul, more energetic, more  
 like a God;
Lo, how he urges and urges, leaving the masses no  
His daring foot is on land and sea everywhere—he col- 
 onizes the Pacific, the archipelagoes;
With the steam-ship, the electric telegraph, the news- 
 paper, the wholesale engines of war,
With these, and the world-spreading factories, he inter- 
 links all geography, all lands;
  [ begin page 54a ]ppp.00473.392.jpg —What whispers are these, O lands, running ahead of  
 you, passing under the seas?
Are all nations communing? is there going to be but  
 one heart to the globe?
Is humanity forming, en-masse?—for lo! tyrants trem- 
 ble, crowns grow dim;
The earth, restive, confronts a new era, perhaps a gen- 
 eral divine war;
No one knows what will happen next—such portents  
 fill the days and nights;
Years prophetical! the space ahead as I walk, as I vain- 
 ly try to pierce it, is full of phantoms;
Unborn deeds, things soon to be, project their shapes  
 around me;
This incredible rush and heat—this strange extactic  
 fever of dreams, O years!
Your dreams, O years, how they penetrate through me!  
 (I know not whether I sleep or wake!)
The perform'd America and Europe grow dim, retiring  
 in shadow behind me,
The unperform'd, more gigantic than ever, advance, ad- 
 vance upon me.
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