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So long!

1TO conclude—I announce what comes after me, The thought must be promulged, that all I know at  
 any time suffices for that time only—not subse- 
 quent time;
I announce greater offspring, orators, days, and then  
2I remember I said to myself at the winter-close, before  
 my leaves sprang at all, that I would become a  
 candid and unloosed summer-poet,
I said I would raise my voice jocund and strong, with  
 reference to consummations.
3When America does what was promised, When each part is peopled with free people, When there is no city on earth to lead my city, the  
 city of young men, the Mannahatta city—But  
 when the Mannahatta leads all the cities of the  
When there are plentiful athletic bards, inland and  
When through These States walk a hundred millions  
 of superb persons,
When the rest part away for superb persons, and con- 
 tribute to them,
  [ begin page 452 ]ppp.01500.460.jpg When fathers, firm, unconstrained, open-eyed—When  
 breeds of the most perfect mothers denote  
Then to me ripeness and conclusion.
4Yet not me, after all—let none be content with me, I myself seek a man better than I am, or a woman  
 better than I am,
I invite defiance, and to make myself superseded, All I have done, I would cheerfully give to be trod  
 under foot, if it might only be the soil of supe- 
 rior poems.
5I have established nothing for good, I have but established these things, till things farther  
 onward shall be prepared to be established,
And I am myself the preparer of things farther  
6I have pressed through in my own right, I have offered my style to every one—I have jour- 
 neyed with confident step,
While my pleasure is yet at the full, I whisper  
  So long,
And take the young woman's hand, and the young  
 man's hand, for the last time.
7Once more I enforce you to give play to yourself— 
 and not depend on me, or on any one but  
Once more I proclaim the whole of America for each  
 individual, without exception.
  [ begin page 453 ]ppp.01500.461.jpg 8As I have announced the true theory of the youth, 
 manhood, womanhood, of The States, I adhere  
 to it;
As I have announced myself on immortality, the body, 
 procreation, hauteur, prudence,
As I joined the stern crowd that still confronts the  
 President with menacing weapons—I adhere  
 to all,
As I have announced each age for itself, this moment  
 I set the example.
9I demand the choicest edifices to destroy them; Room! room! for new far-planning draughtsmen and  
Clear that rubbish from the building-spots and the  
10 So long! I announce natural persons to arise, I announce justice triumphant, I announce uncompromising liberty and equality, I announce the justification of candor, and the justi- 
 fication of pride.
11I announce that the identity of These States is a  
 single identity only,
I announce the Union more and more compact, I announce splendors and majesties to make all the  
 previous politics of the earth insignificant.
12I announce adhesiveness—I say it shall be limitless, 
  [ begin page 454 ]ppp.01500.462.jpg I say you shall yet find the friend you was look- 
 ing for.
13 So long! I announce a man or woman coming—perhaps you  
 are the one,
I announce a great individual, fluid as Nature, chaste, 
 affectionate, compassionate, fully armed.
14 So long! I announce a life that shall be copious, vehement, 
 spiritual, bold,
And I announce an old age that shall lightly and  
 joyfully meet its translation.
15O thicker and faster! O crowding too close upon me! I foresee too much—it means more than I thought, It appears to me I am dying. 16Now throat, sound your last! Salute me—salute the future once more. Peal the  
 old cry once more.
17Screaming electric, the atmosphere using, At random glancing, each as I notice absorbing, Swiftly on, but a little while alighting, Curious enveloped messages delivering, Sparkles hot, seed ethereal, down in the dirt dropping, Myself unknowing, my commission obeying, to ques- 
 tion it never daring,
To ages, and ages yet, the growth of the seed leaving,   [ begin page 455 ]ppp.01500.463.jpg To troops out of me rising—they the tasks I have set  
To women certain whispers of myself bequeathing— 
 their affection me more clearly explaining,
To young men my problems offering—no dallier I— 
 I the muscle of their brains trying,
So I pass—a little time vocal, visible, contrary, Afterward, a melodious echo, passionately bent for— 
 death making me undying,
The best of me then when no longer visible—for  
 toward that I have been incessantly preparing.
18What is there more, that I lag and pause, and crouch  
 extended with unshut mouth?
Is there a single final farewell?
19My songs cease—I abandon them, From behind the screen where I hid, I advance per- 
20This is no book, Who touches this, touches a man, (Is it night? Are we here alone?) It is I you hold, and who holds you, I spring from the pages into your arms—decease  
 calls me forth.
21O how your fingers drowse me! Your breath falls around me like dew—your pulse  
 lulls the tympans of my ears,
I feel immerged from head to foot, Delicious—enough.
  [ begin page 456 ]ppp.01500.464.jpg 22Enough, O deed impromptu and secret! Enough, O gliding present! Enough, O summed-up  
23Dear friend, whoever you are, here, take this kiss, I give it especially to you—Do not forget me, I feel like one who has done his work—I progress on, The unknown sphere, more real than I dreamed, 
 more direct, darts awakening rays about me— 
  So long!
Remember my words—I love you—I depart from  
I am as one disembodied, triumphant, dead.
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