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To the Leaven'd Soil They Trod


TO the leaven'd soil they trod, calling, I sing, for the last; (Not cities, nor man alone, nor war, nor the dead, But forth from my tent emerging for good—loosing, unty- 
 ing the tent-ropes;)
In the freshness, the forenoon air, in the far-stretching cir- 
 cuits and vistas, again to peace restored,
To the fiery fields emanative, and the endless vistas beyond—  
 to the south and the north;
To the leaven'd soil of the general western world, to attest  
 my songs,
(To the average earth, the wordless earth, witness of war  
 and peace,)
To the Alleghanian hills, and the tireless Mississippi, To the rocks I, calling, sing, and all the trees in the woods, To the plain of the poems of heroes, to the prairie spreading  
To the far-off sea, and the unseen winds, and the sane im- 
 palpable air;
…And responding, they answer all, (but not in words.) The average earth, the witness of war and peace, acknowl- 
 edges mutely;
The prairie draws me close, as the father, to bosom broad,  
 the son;
The Northern ice and rain, that began me, nourish me  
 to the end;
But the hot sun of the South is to ripen my songs.
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