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About this Item

Title: Ah, Not This Granite Dead and Cold

Creator: Walt Whitman

Date: February 22, 1885

Whitman Archive ID: per.00068

Source: The Philadelphia Press 22 February 1885: 4. Our transcription is based on a digital image of a microfilm copy of an original issue. For a description of the editorial rationale behind our treatment of the periodical poems, see our statement of editorial policy.

Contributors to digital file: Elizabeth Lorang, April Lambert, and Susan Belasco

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Ah, Not This Granite Dead and Cold.1

Ah, not this granite, dead and cold!
Far from its base and shaft expanding—the
round zones circling, comprehending;
Thou, WASHINGTON, art all the worlds, the
continent's entire—not yours alone,
Europe's as well, in every part, castle of lord
or laborer's cot,
On frozen North, or sultry South—the Arab's in
his tent—the African's;
Old Asia's there with venerable smile, seated
amid her ruins;
(Greets the antique the hero new? 'tis but the
same—the heir legitimate, continued
The indomitable heart and arm—proofs of the
never-broken line,
Courage, alertness, patience, faith, the same—
e'en in defeat defeated not, the same:)
Wherever sails a ship, or house is built on land,
or day or night,
Through teeming cities' streets, indoors or out,
factories or farms,
Now, or to come, or past—where patriot wills
existed or exist,
Wherever Freedom, poised by Toleration,
swayed by Law,
Stands or is rising thy true monument.
February 21, 1885.


1. Reprinted as "Washington's Monument, February, 1885" in the "Sands at Seventy" annex to Leaves of Grass (1888). [back]


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