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Salut Au Monde!

Salut au Monde!

1O TAKE my hand, Walt Whitman! Such gliding wonders! Such sights and sounds! Such joined unended links, each hooked to the next! Each answering all—each sharing the earth with all. 2What widens within you, Walt Whitman? What waves and soils exuding? What climes? What persons and lands are here? Who are the infants? Some playing, some slum- 
Who are the girls? Who are the married women? Who are the three old men going slowly with their  
 arms about each others' necks?
What rivers are these? What forests and fruits are  
What are the mountains called that rise so high in  
 the mists?
What myriads of dwellings are they, filled with  
3Within me latitude widens, longitude lengthens, Asia, Africa, Europe, are to the east—America is  
 provided for in the west,
  [ begin page 244 ]ppp.01500.252.jpg Banding the bulge of the earth winds the hot equator, Curiously north and south turn the axis-ends; Within me is the longest day—the sun wheels in  
 slanting rings—it does not set for months,
Stretched in due time within me the midnight sun  
 just rises above the horizon, and sinks again,
Within me zones, seas, cataracts, plains, volcanoes, 
Oceanica, Australasia, Polynesia, and the great West  
 Indian islands.
4What do you hear, Walt Whitman? 5I hear the workman singing, and the farmer's wife  
I hear in the distance the sounds of children, and of  
 animals early in the day,
I hear quick rifle-cracks from the riflemen of East  
 Tennessee and Kentucky, hunting on hills,
I hear emulous shouts of Australians, pursuing the  
 wild horse,
I hear the Spanish dance, with castanets, in the chest- 
 nut shade, to the rebeck and guitar,
I hear continual echoes from the Thames, I hear fierce French liberty songs, I hear of the Italian boat-sculler the musical recitative  
 of old poems,
I hear the Virginia plantation chorus of negroes, of  
 a harvest night, in the glare of pine knots,
I hear the strong baritone of the 'long-shore-men of  
I hear the stevedores unlading the cargoes, and  
  [ begin page 245 ]ppp.01500.253.jpg I hear the screams of the water-fowl of solitary north- 
 west lakes,
I hear the rustling pattering of locusts, as they strike  
 the grain and grass with the showers of their  
 terrible clouds,
I hear the Coptic refrain, toward sundown, pensively  
 falling on the breast of the black venerable vast  
 mother, the Nile,
I hear the bugles of raft-tenders on the streams of  
I hear the chirp of the Mexican muleteer, and the  
 bells of the mule,
I hear the Arab muezzin, calling from the top of the  
I hear Christian priests at the altars of their churches  
 —I hear the responsive base and soprano,
I hear the wail of utter despair of the white-haired  
 Irish grand-parents, when they learn the death  
 of their grand-son,
I hear the cry of the Cossack, and the sailor's voice, 
 putting to sea at Okotsk,
I hear the wheeze of the slave-coffle, as the slaves  
 march on—as the husky gangs pass on by twos  
 and threes, fastened together with wrist-chains  
 and ankle-chains,
I hear the entreaties of women tied up for punishment  
 —I hear the sibilant whisk of thongs through  
 the air;
I hear the Hebrew reading his records and psalms, I hear the rhythmic myths of the Greeks, and the  
 strong legends of the Romans,
I hear the tale of the divine life and bloody death  
 of the beautiful God, the Christ,
21*   [ begin page 246 ]ppp.01500.254.jpg I hear the Hindoo teaching his favorite pupil the  
 loves, wars, adages, transmitted safely to this  
 day from poets who wrote three thousand years  
6What do you see, Walt Whitman? Who are they who salute, and that one after another  
 salute you?
7I see a great round wonder rolling through the air, I see diminute farms, hamlets, ruins, grave-yards, jails, 
 factories, palaces, hovels, huts of barbarians, tents  
 of nomads, upon the surface,
I see the shaded part on one side, where the sleepers  
 are sleeping—and the sun-lit part on the other  
I see the curious silent change of the light and shade, I see distant lands, as real and near to the inhabitants  
 of them, as my land is to me.
8I see plenteous waters, I see mountain peaks—I see the sierras of Andes and  
 Alleghanies, where they range,
I see plainly the Himmalehs, Chian Shahs, Altays, 
I see the Rocky Mountains, and the Peak of Winds, I see the Styrian Alps, and the Karnac Alps, I see the Pyrenees, Balks, Carpathians—and to the  
 north the Dofrafields, and off at sea Mount Hecla,
I see Vesuvius and Etna—I see the Anahuacs, I see the Mountains of the Moon, and the Snow Moun- 
 tains, and the Red Mountains of Madagascar,
I see the Vermont hills, and the long string of Cor- 
  [ begin page 247 ]ppp.01500.255.jpg I see the vast deserts of Western America, I see the Libyan, Arabian, and Asiatic deserts; I see huge dreadful Arctic and Antarctic icebergs, I see the superior oceans and the inferior ones—the  
 Atlantic and Pacific, the sea of Mexico, the Bra- 
 zilian sea, and the sea of Peru,
The Japan waters, those of Hindostan, the China Sea, 
 and the Gulf of Guinea,
The spread of the Baltic, Caspian, Bothnia, the British  
 shores, and the Bay of Biscay,
The clear-sunned Mediterranean, and from one to an- 
 other of its islands,
The inland fresh-tasted seas of North America, The White Sea, and the sea around Greenland.
9I behold the mariners of the world, Some are in storms—some in the night, with the  
 watch on the look-out,
Some drifting helplessly—some with contagious dis- 
10I behold the steam-ships of the world, Some double the Cape of Storms—some Cape Verde  
 —others Cape Guardafui, Bon, or Bajadore,
Others Dondra Head—others pass the Straits of Sun- 
 da—others Cape Lopatka—others Behring's  
Others Cape Horn—others the Gulf of Mexico, or  
 along Cuba or Hayti—others Hudson's Bay or  
 Baffin's Bay,
Others pass the Straits of Dover—others enter the  
 Wash—others the Firth of Solway—others round  
 Cape Clear—others the Land's End,
  [ begin page 248 ]ppp.01500.256.jpg Others traverse the Zuyder Zee, or the Scheld, Others add to the exits and entrances at Sandy Hook, Others to the comers and goers at Gibraltar, or the  
Others sternly push their way through the northern  
Others descend or ascend the Obi or the Lena, Others the Niger or the Congo—others the Indus, 
 the Burampooter and Cambodia,
Others wait at the wharves of Manahatta, steamed up, 
 ready to start,
Wait, swift and swarthy, in the ports of Australia, Wait at Liverpool, Glasgow, Dublin, Marseilles, Lis- 
 bon, Naples, Hamburg, Bremen, Bourdeaux, the  
 Hague, Copenhagen,
Wait at Valparaiso, Rio Janeiro, Panama, Wait at their moorings at Boston, Philadelphia, Balti- 
 more, Charleston, New Orleans, Galveston, San  
11I see the tracks of the rail-roads of the earth, I see them welding State to State, city to city, through  
 North America;
I see them in Great Britain, I see them in Europe, I see them in Asia and in Africa.
12I see the electric telegraphs of the earth, I see the filaments of the news of the wars, deaths, 
 losses, gains, passions, of my race.
13I see the long river-stripes of the earth, I see where the Mississippi flows—I see where the. 
 Columbia flows,
  [ begin page 249 ]ppp.01500.257.jpg I see the Great River, and the Falls of Niagara, I see the Amazon and the Paraguay, I see the four great rivers of China, the Amour, the  
 Yellow River, the Yiang-tse, and the Pearl;
I see where the Seine flows, and where the Loire, the  
 Rhone, and the Guadalquiver flow,
I see the windings of the Volga, the Dnieper, the  
I see the Tuscan going down the Arno, and the Vene- 
 tian along the Po,
I see the Greek seaman sailing out of Egina bay.
14I see the site of the old empire of Assyria, and that  
 of Persia, and that of India,
I see the falling of the Ganges over the high rim of  
15I see the place of the idea of the Deity incarnated by  
 avatars in human forms,
I see the spots of the successions of priests on the earth  
 —oracles, sacrificers, brahmins, sabians, lamas, 
 monks, muftis, exhorters;
I see where druids walked the groves of Mona—I see  
 the mistletoe and vervain,
I see the temples of the deaths of the bodies of Gods— 
 I see the old signifiers.
16I see Christ once more eating the bread of his last sup- 
 per, in the midst of youths and old persons,
I see where the strong divine young man, the Hercules, 
 toiled faithfully and long, and then died,
I see the place of the innocent rich life and hapless  
 fate of the beautiful nocturnal son, the full-limbed  
  [ begin page 250 ]ppp.01500.258.jpg I see Kneph, blooming, dressed in blue, with the crown  
 of feathers on his head,
I see Hermes, unsuspected, dying, well-beloved, saying  
 to the people, Do not weep for me,
This is not my true country, I have lived banished from  
  my true country—I now go back there,
I return to the celestial sphere, where every one goes  
  in his turn.
17I see the battle-fields of the earth—grass grows upon  
 them, and blossoms and corn,
I see the tracks of ancient and modern expeditions.
18I see the nameless masonries, venerable messages of  
 the unknown events, heroes, records of the earth.
19I see the places of the sagas, I see pine-trees and fir-trees torn by northern blasts, I see granite boulders and cliffs—I see green meadows  
 and lakes,
I see the burial-cairns of Scandinavian warriors, I see them raised high with stones, by the marge of  
 restless oceans, that the dead men's spirits, when  
 they wearied of their quiet graves, might rise up  
 through the mounds, and gaze on the tossing  
 billows, and be refreshed by storms, immensity, 
 liberty, action.
20I see the steppes of Asia, I see the tumuli of Mongolia—I see the tents of Kal- 
 mucks and Baskirs,
I see the nomadic tribes, with herds of oxen and cows, I see the table-lands notched with ravines—I see the  
 jungles and deserts,
  [ begin page 251 ]ppp.01500.259.jpg I see the camel, the wild steed, the bustard, the fat- 
 tailed sheep, the antelope, and the burrowing  
21I see the high-lands of Abyssinia, I see flocks of goats feeding, and see the fig-tree, 
 tamarind, date,
And see fields of teff-wheat, and see the places of  
 verdure and gold.
22I see the Brazilian vaquero, I see the Bolivian ascending Mount Sorata, I see the Wacho crossing the plains—I see the  
 incomparable rider of horses with his lasso on  
 his arm,
I see over the pampas the pursuit of wild cattle for  
 their hides.
23I see little and large sea-dots, some inhabited, some  
I see two boats with nets, lying off the shore of Pau- 
 manok, quite still,
I see ten fishermen waiting—they discover now a  
 thick school of mossbonkers—they drop the  
 joined seine-ends in the water,
The boats separate—they diverge and row off, each  
 on its rounding course to the beach, enclosing  
 the mossbonkers,
The net is drawn in by a windlass by those who stop  
Some of the fishermen lounge in the boats—others  
 stand negligently ankle-deep in the water, poised  
 on strong legs,
  [ begin page 252 ]ppp.01500.260.jpg The boats are partly drawn up—the water slaps  
 against them,
On the sand, in heaps and winrows, well out from the  
 water, lie the green-backed spotted mossbonkers.
24I see the despondent red man in the west, lingering  
 about the banks of Moingo, and about Lake  
He has heard the quail and beheld the honey-bee, and  
 sadly prepared to depart.
25I see the regions of snow and ice, I see the sharp-eyed Samoiede and the Finn, I see the seal-seeker in his boat, poising his lance, I see the Siberian on his slight-built sledge, drawn by  
I see the porpoise-hunters—I see the whale-crews of  
 the South Pacific and the North Atlantic,
I see the cliffs, glaciers, torrents, valleys, of Switzer- 
 land—I mark the long winters, and the  
26I see the cities of the earth, and make myself at ran- 
 dom a part of them,
I am a real Parisian, I am a habitan of Vienna, St. Petersburg, Berlin, 
I am of Adelaide, Sidney, Melbourne, I am of London, Manchester, Bristol, Edinburgh, 
I am of Madrid, Cadiz, Barcelona, Oporto, Lyons, 
 Brussels, Berne, Frankfort, Stuttgart, Turin, 
  [ begin page 253 ]ppp.01500.261.jpg I belong in Moscow, Cracow, Warsaw—or northward  
 in Christiania or Stockholm—or in Siberian  
 Irkutsk—or in some street in Iceland;
I descend upon all those cities, and rise from them  
27I see vapors exhaling from unexplored countries, I see the savage types, the bow and arrow, the  
 poisoned splint, the fetish, and the obi.
28I see African and Asiatic towns, I see Algiers, Tripoli, Derne, Mogadore, Timbuctoo, 
I see the swarms of Pekin, Canton, Benares, Delhi, 
 Calcutta, Yedo,
I see the Kruman in his hut, and the Dahoman and  
 Ashantee-man in their huts,
I see the Turk smoking opium in Aleppo, I see the picturesque crowds at the fairs of Khiva, and  
 those of Herat,
I see Teheran—I see Muscat and Medina, and the  
 intervening sands—I see the caravans toiling  
I see Egypt and the Egyptians—I see the pyramids  
 and obelisks,
I look on chiselled histories, songs, philosophies, cut  
 in slabs of sand-stone, or on granite blocks,
I see at Memphis mummy-pits, containing mummies, 
 embalmed, swathed in linen cloth, lying there  
 many centuries,
I look on the fall'n Theban, the large-ball'd eyes, the  
 side-drooping neck, the hands folded across the  
22   [ begin page 254 ]ppp.01500.262.jpg 29I see the menials of the earth, laboring, I see the prisoners in the prisons, I see the defective human bodies of the earth, I see the blind, the deaf and dumb, idiots, hunch- 
 backs, lunatics,
I see the pirates, thieves, betrayers, murderers, slave- 
 makers of the earth,
I see the helpless infants, and the helpless old men  
 and women.
30I see male and female everywhere, I see the serene brotherhood of philosophs, I see the constructiveness of my race, I see the results of the perseverance and industry of  
 my race,
I see ranks, colors, barbarisms, civilizations—I go  
 among them—I mix indiscriminately,
And I salute all the inhabitants of the earth.
31You, where you are! You daughter or son of England! You of the mighty Slavic tribes and empires! you  
 Russ in Russia!
You dim-descended, black, divine-souled African, 
 large, fine-headed, nobly-formed, superbly des- 
 tined, on equal terms with me!
You Norwegian! Swede! Dane! Icelander! you  
You Spaniard of Spain! you Portuguese! You Frenchwoman and Frenchman of France! You Belge! you liberty-lover of the Netherlands! You sturdy Austrian! you Lombard! Hun! Bohe- 
 mian! farmer of Styria!
  [ begin page 255 ]ppp.01500.263.jpg You neighbor of the Danube! You working-man of the Rhine, the Elbe, or the  
 Weser! you working-woman too!
You Sardinian! you Bavarian! you Swabian! Saxon! 
 Wallachian! Bulgarian!
You citizen of Prague! you Roman! Neapolitan! 
You lithe matador in the arena at Seville! You mountaineer living lawlessly on the Taurus or  
You Bokh horse-herd, watching your mares and stal- 
 lions feeding!
You beautiful-bodied Persian, at full speed in the  
 saddle, shooting arrows to the mark!
You Chinaman and Chinawoman of China! you Tar- 
 tar of Tartary!
You women of the earth subordinated at your tasks! You Jew journeying in your old age through every  
 risk, to stand once on Syrian ground!
You other Jews waiting in all lands for your Messiah! You thoughtful Armenian, pondering by some stream  
 of the Euphrates! you peering amid the ruins of  
 Nineveh! you ascending Mount Ararat!
You foot-worn pilgrim welcoming the far-away sparkle  
 of the minarets of Mecca!
You sheiks along the stretch from Suez to Babel- 
 mandel, ruling your families and tribes!
You olive-grower tending your fruit on fields of Naz- 
 areth, Damascus, or Lake Tiberias!
You Thibet trader on the wide inland, or bargaining  
 in the shops of Lassa!
You Japanese man or woman! you liver in Madagas- 
 car, Ceylon, Sumatra, Borneo!
  [ begin page 256 ]ppp.01500.264.jpg All you continentals of Asia, Africa, Europe, Aus- 
 tralia, indifferent of place!
All you on the numberless islands of the archipelagoes  
 of the sea!
And you of centuries hence, when you listen to me! And you, each and everywhere, whom I specify not, 
 but include just the same!
Health to you! Good will to you all—from me and  
 America sent,
For we acknowledge you all and each.
31Each of us inevitable, Each of us limitless—each of us with his or her  
 right upon the earth,
Each of us allowed the eternal purport of the earth, Each of us here as divinely as any is here.
32You Hottentot with clicking palate! You woolly-haired hordes! you white or black owners  
 of slaves!
You owned persons, dropping sweat-drops or blood- 
You human forms with the fathomless ever-impressive  
 countenances of brutes!
You poor koboo whom the meanest of the rest look  
 down upon, for all your glimmering language  
 and spirituality!
You low expiring aborigines of the hills of Utah, 
 Oregon, California!
You dwarfed Kamtschatkan, Greenlander, Lapp! You Austral negro, naked, red, sooty, with protrusive  
 lip, grovelling, seeking your food!
You Caffre, Berber, Soudanese!   [ begin page 257 ]ppp.01500.265.jpg You haggard, uncouth, untutored Bedowee! You plague-swarms in Madras, Nankin, Kaubul, 
You bather bathing in the Ganges! You benighted roamer of Amazonia! you Patagonian! 
 you Fegee-man!
You peon of Mexico! you Russian serf! you slave of  
 Carolina, Texas, Tennessee!
I do not prefer others so very much before you either, I do not say one word against you, away back there, 
 where you stand,
(You will come forward in due time to my side.)
33My spirit has passed in compassion and determination  
 around the whole earth,
I have looked for equals and lovers, and found them  
 ready for me in all lands;
I think some divine rapport has equalized me with  
34O vapors! I think I have risen with you, and moved  
 away to distant continents, and fallen down  
 there, for reasons,
I think I have blown with you, O winds, O waters, I have fingered every shore with you.
35I have run through what any river or strait of the  
 globe has run through,
I have taken my stand on the bases of peninsulas, and  
 on the highest embedded rocks, to cry thence.
36 Salut au Monde! What cities the light or warmth penetrates, I pen- 
 etrate those cities myself,
22*   [ begin page 258 ]ppp.01500.266.jpg All islands to which birds wing their way, I wing my  
 way myself.
37Toward all, I raise high the perpendicular hand—I make the  
To remain after me in sight forever, For all the haunts and homes of men.
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