Walt Whitman

I was Looking a Long While

I WAS looking a long while for a clue to the history of the past for myself, and for these chants—and now I have found it; It is not in those paged fables in the libraries, (them I neither accept nor reject;) It is no more in the legends than in all else; It is in the present—it is this earth to-day; It is in Democracy—(the purport and aim of all the past;) It is the life of one man or one woman to-day—the average man of to-day; It is in languages, social customs, literatures, arts; It is in the broad show of artificial things, ships, machinery, politics, creeds, modern improvements, and the interchange of nations, All for the average man of to-day.

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