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1 OVER sea, hither from Niphon,
Courteous, the Princes of Asia, swart-cheek'd princes,
First-comers, guests, two-sworded princes,
Lesson-giving princes, leaning back in their open ba-
rouches, bare-headed, impassive,
This day they ride through Manhattan.

I do not know whether others behold what I behold,
In the procession, along with the Princes of Asia, the
Bringing up the rear, hovering above, around, or in the
ranks marching;
But I will sing you a song of what I behold, Libertad.

3When million-footed Manhattan, unpent, descends to
its pavements;
When the thunder-cracking guns arouse me with the
proud roar I love;
When the round-mouth'd guns, out of the smoke and
smell I love, spit their salutes;
When the fire-flashing guns have fully alerted me—
when heaven-clouds canopy my city with a
delicate thin haze;
When, gorgeous, the countless straight stems, the for-
ests at the wharves, thicken with colors;
When every ship, richly drest, carries her flag at the
When pennants trail, and street-festoons hang from the

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When Broadway is entirely given up to foot-passengers
and foot-standers—when the mass is densest;
When the facades of the houses are alive with people—
when eyes gaze, riveted, tens of thousands at a
When the guests from the islands advance—when the
pageant moves forward, visible;
When the summons is made—when the answer that
waited thousands of years, answers;
I too, arising, answering, descend to the pavements,
merge with the crowd, and gaze with them.

4Superb-faced Manhattan!
Comrade Americanos!—to us, then, at last, the Orient

5To us, my city,
Where our tall-topt marble and iron beauties range on
opposite sides—to walk in the space between,
To-day our Antipodes comes.

6The Originatress comes,
The land of Paradise—land of the Caucasus—the nest
of birth,
The nest of languages, the bequeather of poems, the
race of eld,
Florid with blood, pensive, rapt with musings, hot with
Sultry with perfume, with ample and flowing garments,
With sunburnt visage, with intense soul and glittering
The race of Brahma comes!

7See, my cantabile! these, and more, are flashing to us
from the procession;
As it moves, changing, a kaleidoscope divine it moves,
changing, before us.

8Not the errand-bearing princes, nor the tann'd Japa-
nee only;

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Lithe and silent, the Hindoo appears—the whole Asiatic
continent itself appears—the Past, the dead,
The murky night-morning of wonder and fable, inscruta-
The envelop'd mysteries, the old and unknown hive-
The North—the sweltering South—Assyria—the
Hebrews—the Ancient of ancients,
Vast desolated cities—the gliding Present—all of
these, and more, are in the pageant-procession.

9Geography, the world, is in it;
The Great Sea, the brood of islands, Polynesia, the coast
The coast you, henceforth, are facing—you Libertad!
from your Western golden shores;
The countries there, with their populations—the mil-
lions en-masse, are curiously here;
The swarming market places—the temples, with idols
ranged along the sides, or at the end—bonze,
brahmin, and lama;
The mandarin, farmer, merchant, mechanic, and fisher-
The singing-girl and the dancing-girl—the ecstatic
person—the divine Buddha;
The secluded Emperors—Confucius himself—the
great poets and heroes—the warriors, the castes,
Trooping up, crowding from all directions—from the
Altay mountains,
From Thibet—from the four winding and far-flowing
rivers of China,
From the Southern peninsulas, and the demi-continental
islands—from Malaysia;
These, and whatever belongs to them, palpable, show
forth to me, and are seiz'd by me,
And I am seiz'd by them, and friendlily held by them,
Till, as here, them all I chant, Libertad! for themselves
and for you.

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10For I too, raising my voice, join the ranks of this
I am the chanter—I chant aloud over the pageant;
I chant the world on my Western Sea;
I chant, copious, the islands beyond, thick as stars in
the sky;
I chant the new empire, grander than any before—As
in a vision it comes to me;
I chant America, the Mistress—I chant a greater su-
I chant, projected, a thousand blooming cities yet, in
time, on those groups of sea-islands;
I chant my sail-ships and steam-ships threading the ar-
I chant my stars and stripes fluttering in the wind;
I chant commerce opening, the sleep of ages having
done its work—races, reborn, refresh'd;
Lives, works, resumed—The object I know not—but
the old, the Asiatic, resumed, as it must be,
Commencing from this day, surrounded by the world.

11And you, Libertad of the world!
You shall sit in the middle, well-pois'd, thousands of
As to-day, from one side, the Princes of Asia come to
As to-morrow, from the other side, the Queen of Eng-
land sends her eldest son to you.

12The sign is reversing, the orb is enclosed,
The ring is circled, the journey is done;
The box-lid is but perceptibly open'd—nevertheless the
perfume pours copiously out of the whole box.

13Young Libertad!
With the venerable Asia, the all-mother,
Be considerate with her, now and ever, hot Libertad—
for you are all;

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Bend your proud neck to the long-off mother, now
sending messages over the archipelagoes to you;
Bend your proud neck low for once, young Libertad.

14Were the children straying westward so long? so
wide the tramping?
Were the precedent dim ages debouching westward
from Paradise so long?
Were the centuries steadily footing it that way, all the
while unknown, for you, for reasons?
They are justified—they are accomplish'd—they shall
now be turn'd the other way also, to travel to-
ward you thence;
They shall now also march obediently eastward, for
your sake, Libertad.


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