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Unnamed Lands


1NATIONS ten thousand years before These States, and  
 many times ten thousand years before These  
Garnered clusters of ages, that men and women like  
 us grew up and travelled their course, and  
 passed on;
What vast-built cities—What orderly republics— 
 What pastoral tribes and nomads,
What histories, rulers, heroes, perhaps transcending  
 all others,
What laws, customs, wealth, arts, traditions, What sort of marriage—What costumes—What  
 physiology and phrenology,
What of liberty and slavery among them—What  
 they thought of death and the Soul,
Who were witty and wise—Who beautiful and poetic  
 —Who brutish and undeveloped,
Not a mark, not a record remains—And yet all  
2O I know that those men and women were not for  
 nothing, any more than we are for nothing,
  [ begin page 413 ]ppp.01500.421.jpg I know that they belong to the scheme of the world  
 every bit as much as we now belong to it, and as  
 all will henceforth belong to it.
3Afar they stand—yet near to me they stand, Some with oval countenances, learned and calm, Some naked and savage—Some like huge collections  
 of insects,
Some in tents—herdsmen, patriarchs, tribes, horse- 
Some prowling through woods—Some living peacea- 
 bly on farms, laboring, reaping, filling barns,
Some traversing paved avenues, amid temples, palaces, 
 factories, libraries, shows, courts, theatres, won- 
 derful monuments.
4Are those billions of men really gone? Are those women of the old experience of the earth  
Do their lives, cities, arts, rest only with us? Did they achieve nothing for good, for themselves?
5I believe of all those billions of men and women that  
 filled the unnamed lands, every one exists this  
 hour, here or elsewhere, invisible to us, in exact  
 proportion to what he or she grew from in life, 
 and out of what he or she did, felt, became, loved, 
 sinned, in life.
6I believe that was not the end of those nations, or any  
 person of them, any more than this shall be the  
 end of my nation, or of me;
35*   [ begin page 414 ]ppp.01500.422.jpg Of their languages, phrenology, government, coins, med- 
 als, marriage, literature, products, games, juris- 
 prudence, wars, manners, amativeness, crimes, 
 prisons, slaves, heroes, poets, I suspect their re- 
 sults curiously await in the yet unseen world — 
 counterparts of what accrued to them in the seen  
I suspect I shall meet them there, I suspect I shall there find each old particular of those  
 unnamed lands.
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