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Rise O Days From Your Fathomless Deeps.

Part of the cluster DRUM-TAPS.



RISE O days from your fathomless deeps, till you loftier, fiercer  
Long for my soul hungering gymnastic I devour'd what the earth  
 gave me,
Long I roam'd the woods of the north, long I watch'd Niagara  
I travel'd the prairies over and slept on their breast, I cross'd the  
 Nevadas, I cross'd the plateaus,
I ascended the towering rocks along the Pacific, I sail'd out to  
I sail'd through the storm, I was refresh'd by the storm, I watch'd with joy the threatening maws of the waves, I mark'd the white combs where they career'd so high, curling  
I heard the wind piping, I saw the black clouds,   [ begin page 229 ]ppp.01663.235.jpg Saw from below what arose and mounted, (O superb! O wild as  
 my heart, and powerful!)
Heard the continuous thunder as it bellow'd after the lightning, Noted the slender and jagged threads of lightning as sudden and  
 fast amid the din they chased each other across the sky;
These, and such as these, I, elate, saw—saw with wonder, yet  
 pensive and masterful,
All the menacing might of the globe uprisen around me, Yet there with my soul I fed, I fed content, supercilious.


'Twas well, O soul—'twas a good preparation you gave me, Now we advance our latent and ampler hunger to fill, Now we go forth to receive what the earth and the sea never  
 gave us,
Not through the mighty woods we go, but through the mightier  
Something for us is pouring now more than Niagara pouring, Torrents of men, (sources and rills of the Northwest are you  
 indeed inexhaustible?)
What, to pavements and homesteads here, what were those storms  
 of the mountains and sea?
What, to passions I witness around me to-day? was the sea risen? Was the wind piping the pipe of death under the black clouds? Lo! from deeps more unfathomable, something more deadly and  
Manhattan rising, advancing with menacing front—Cincinnati,  
 Chicago, unchain'd;
What was that swell I saw on the ocean? behold what comes here, How it climbs with daring feet and hands—how it dashes! How the true thunder bellows after the lightning—how bright  
 the flashes of lightning!
How Democracy with desperate vengeful port strides on, shown  
 through the dark by those flashes of lightning!
(Yet a mournful wail and low sob I fancied I heard through the  
In a lull of the deafening confusion.)


Thunder on! stride on, Democracy! strike with vengeful stroke! And do you rise higher than ever yet O days, O cities! Crash heavier, heavier yet O storms! you have done me good, My soul prepared in the mountains absorbs your immortal strong  
  [ begin page 230 ]ppp.01663.236.jpg Long had I walk'd my cities, my country roads through farms,  
 only half satisfied,
One doubt nauseous undulating like a snake, crawl'd on the  
 ground before me,
Continually preceding my steps, turning upon me oft, ironically  
 hissing low;
The cities I loved so well I abandon'd and left, I sped to the  
 certainties suitable to me,
Hungering, hungering, hungering, for primal energies and Nature's  
I refresh'd myself with it only, I could relish it only, I waited the bursting forth of the pent fire—on the water and air  
 I waited long;
But now I no longer wait, I am fully satisfied, I am glutted, I have witness'd the true lightning, I have witness'd my cities  
I have lived to behold man burst forth and warlike America rise, Hence I will seek no more the food of the northern solitary wilds, No more the mountains roam or sail the stormy sea.

Part of the cluster DRUM-TAPS.

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