Walt Whitman


O MATER! O fils! O brood continental! O flowers of the prairies! O space boundless! O hum of mighty products! O you teeming cities! O so invincible, turbulent, proud! O race of the future! O women! O fathers! O you men of passion and the storm! O native power only! O beauty! O yourself! O God! O divine average! O you bearded roughs! O bards! O all those slumberers! O arouse! the dawn bird’s throat sounds shrill! Do you not hear the cock crowing? O, as I walk’d the beach, I heard the mournful notes foreboding a tempest—the low, oft-repeated shriek of the diver, the long-lived loon; O I heard, and yet hear, angry thunder;—O you sailors! O ships! make quick preparation! O from his masterful sweep, the warning cry of the eagle! (Give way there, all! It is useless! Give up your spoils;) O sarcasms! Propositions! (O if the whole world should prove indeed a sham, a sell!) O I believe there is nothing real but America and freedom! O to sternly reject all except Democracy! O imperator! O who dare confront you and me? O to promulgate our own! O to build for that which builds for mankind! O feuillage! O North! O the slope drained by the Mexican sea! O all, all inseparable—ages, ages, ages! O a curse on him that would dissever this Union for any reason whatever! O climates, labors! O good and evil! O death! O you strong with iron and wood! O Personality! O the village or place which has the greatest man or woman! even if it be only a few ragged huts; O the city where women walk in public processions in the streets, the same as the men; O a wan and terrible emblem, by me adopted! O shapes arising! shapes of the future centuries! O muscle and pluck forever for me! O workmen and workwomen forever for me! O farmers and sailors! O drivers of horses forever for me! O I will make the new bardic list of trades and tools! O you coarse and wilful! I love you! O South! O longings for my dear home! O soft and sunny airs! O pensive! O I must return where the palm grows and the mocking-bird sings, or else I die! O equality! O organic compacts! I am come to be your born poet! O whirl, contest, sounding and resounding! I am your poet, because I am part of you; O days by-gone! Enthusiasts! Antecedents! O vast preparations for These States! O years! O what is now being sent forward thousands of years to come! O mediums! O to teach! to convey the invisible faith! To promulge real things! to journey through all The States! O creation! O to-day! O laws! O unmitigated adoration! O for mightier broods of orators, artists, and singers! O for native songs! carpenter’s, boatman’s, ploughman’s songs! shoemaker’s songs! O haughtiest growth of time! O free and extatic! O what I, here, preparing, warble for! O you hastening light! O the sun of the world will ascend, dazzling, and take his height—and you too will ascend; O so amazing and so broad! up there resplendent, darting and burning; O prophetic! O vision staggered with weight of light! with pouring glories! O copious! O hitherto unequalled! O Libertad! O compact! O union impossible to dissever! O my Soul! O lips becoming tremulous, powerless! O centuries, centuries yet ahead! O voices of greater orators! I pause—I listen for you O you States! Cities! defiant of all outside authority! I spring at once into your arms! you I most love! O you grand Presidentiads! I wait for you! New history! New heroes! I project you! Visions of poets! only you really last! O sweep on! sweep on! O Death! O you striding there! O I cannot yet! O heights! O infinitely too swift and dizzy yet! O purged lumine! you threaten me more than I can stand! O present! I return while yet I may to you! O poets to come, I depend upon you!

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