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3 What do you hear Walt Whitman ? I hear the workman singing and the farmer's wife singing, I hear in the distance the sounds of children and of animals early
in the day, I hear emulous shouts of Australians pursuing the wild horse, I hear the Spanish dance with castanets in the chestnut shade, to
the rebeck and guitar, I hear continual echoes from the Thames, I hear fierce French liberty songs, I hear of the Italian boat-sculler the musical recitative of old
poems, I hear the locusts in Syria as they strike the grain and grass with
the showers of their terrible clouds, I hear the Coptic refrain toward sundown, pensively falling on the
breast of the black venerable vast mother the Nile, I hear the chirp of the Mexican muleteer, and the bells of the
mule, I hear the Arab muezzin calling from the top of the mosque, I hear the Christian priests at the altars of their churches, I hear
the responsive base and soprano, I hear the cry of the Cossack, and the sailor's voice putting to sea
at Okotsk, I hear the wheeze of the slave-coffle as the slaves march on, as
the husky gangs pass on by twos and threes, fasten'd together
with wrist-chains and ankle-chains, I hear the Hebrew reading his records and psalms, I hear the rhythmic myths of the Greeks, and the strong legends
of the Romans, I hear the tale of the divine life and bloody death of the beautiful
God the Christ, I hear the Hindoo teaching his favorite pupil the loves, wars,
adages, transmitted safely to this day from poets who wrote three thousand years ago.
4 What do you see Walt Whitman? Who are they you salute, and that one after another salute you? I see a great round wonder rolling through space, I see diminute farms, hamlets, ruins, graveyards, jails, factories,
palaces, hovels, huts of barbarians, tents of nomads upon the surface,
I see the shaded part on one side where the sleepers are sleeping,
and the sunlit part on the other side, I see the curious rapid change of the light and shade, I see distant lands, as real and near to the inhabitants of them as
my land is to me.
I see plenteous waters,
Dofrafields, and off at sea mount Hecla,
Red mountains of Madagascar, I see the Lybian, Arabian, and Asiatic deserts, I see huge dreadful Arctic and Antarctic icebergs, I see the superior oceans and the inferior ones, the Atlantic and
Pacific, the sea of Mexico, the Brazilian sea, and the sea
of Peru, The waters of Hindustan, the China sea, and the gulf of Guinea, The Japan waters, the beautiful bay of Nagasaki land-lock'd in its
mountains, The spread of the Baltic, Caspian, Bothnia, the British shores, and
the bay of Biscay, The clear-sunn'd Mediterranean, and from one to another of its
islands, The White sea, and the sea around Greenland. I behold the mariners of the world, Some are in storms, some in the night with the watch on the look
out, Some drifting helplessly, some with contagious diseases. I behold the sail and steamships of the world, some in clusters in
port, some on their voyages, Some double the cape of Storms, some cape Verde, others capes
Guardafui, Bon, or Bajadore, Others Dondra head, others pass the straits of Sunda, others cape
Lopatka, others Behring's straits, Others cape Horn, others sail the gulf of Mexico or along Cuba
or Hayti, others Hudson's bay or Baffin's bay, Others pass the straits of Dover, others enter the Wash, others the
firth of Solway, others round cape Clear, others the Land's End,
Others traverse the Zuyder Zee or the Scheld,
and Cambodia, Others wait steam'd up ready to start in the ports of Australia, Wait at Liverpool, Glasgow, Dublin, Marseilles, Lisbon, Naples,
Hamburg, Bremen, Bordeaux, the Hague, Copenhagen, Wait at Valparaiso, Rio Janeiro, Panama.
5 I see the tracks of the railroads of the earth, I see them in Great Britain, I see them in Europe, I see them in Asia and in Africa. I see the electric telegraphs of the earth, I see the filaments of the news of the wars, deaths, losses, gains,
passions, of my race. I see the long river-stripes of the earth, I see the Amazon and the Paraguay, I see the four great rivers of China, the Amour, the Yellow River,
the Yiang-tse, and the Pearl, I see where the Seine flows, and where the Danube, the Loire, the
Rhone, and the Guadalquiver flow, I see the windings of the Volga, the Dnieper, the Oder, I see the Tuscan going down the Arno, and the Venetian along
the Po, I see the Greek seaman sailing out of Egina bay.
6 I see the site of the old empire of Assyria, and that of Persia, and
that of India, I see the falling of the Ganges over the high rim of Saukara. I see the place of the idea of the Deity incarnated by avatars in
human forms, I see the spots of the successions of priests on the earth, oracles,
sacrificers, brahmins, sabians, llamas, monks, muftis, ex
horters, I see where druids walk'd the groves of Mona, I see the mistletoe
and vervain, I see the temples of the deaths of the bodies of Gods, I see the
I see Christ eating the bread of his last supper in the midst of
youths and old persons, I see where the strong divine young man the Hercules toil'd faith
fully and long and then died, I see the place of the innocent rich life and hapless fate of the
beautiful nocturnal son, the full-limb'd Bacchus, I see Kneph, blooming, drest in blue, with the crown of feathers
on his head, I see Hermes, unsuspected, dying, well-belov'd, saying to the
people Do not weep for me, This is not my true country, I have lived banish'd from my true
country, I now go back there, I return to the celestial sphere where every one goes in his turn.
7 I see the battle-fields of the earth, grass grows upon them and
blossoms and corn, I see the tracks of ancient and modern expeditions.
I see the nameless masonries, venerable messages of the unknown
events, heroes, records of the earth. I see the places of the sagas, I see pine-trees and fir-trees torn by northern blasts, I see granite bowlders and cliffs, I see green meadows and lakes, I see the burial-cairns of Scandinavian warriors, I see them raised high with stones by the marge of restless oceans.
that the dead men's spirits when they wearied of their quie: graves might rise up through the mounds and gaze on the tossing billows, and be refresh'd by storms, immensity. liberty, action.
I see the steppes of Asia,
deserts, I see the camel, the wild steed, the bustard, the fat-tail'd sheep
the antelope, and the burrowing wolf.
I see the highlands of Abyssinia,
I see the Brazilian vaquero,
of horses with his lasso on his arm, I see over the pampas the pursuit of wild cattle for their hides.
8 I see the regions of snow and ice, I see the sharp-eyed Samoiede and the Finn, I see the seal-seeker in his boat poising his lance, I see the Siberian on his slight-built sledge drawn by dogs, I see the porpoise-hunters, I see the whale-crews of the south Pa.
cific and the north Atlantic, I see the cliffs, glaciers, torrents, valleys, of Switzerland - I mark
the long winters and the isolation.
I see the cities of the earth and make myself at random a part of
them, I am a real Parisian, I am a habitan of Vienna, St. Petersburg, Berlin, Constantinople, I am of Adelaide, Sidney, Melbourne, I am of London, Manchester, Bristol, Edinburgh, Limerick, I am of Madrid, Cadiz, Barcelona, Oporto, Lyons, Brussels, Berne,
Frankfort, Stuttgart, Turin, Florence, I belong in Moscow, Cracow, Warsaw, or northward in Christiania
or Stockholm, or in Siberian Irkutsk, or in some street in
I see vapors exhaling from unexplored countries,
fetich, and the obi.
I see African and Asiatic towns,
in their huts, I see the Turk smoking opium in Aleppo, I see the picturesque crowds at the fairs of Khiva and those of
Herat, I see Teheran, I see Muscat and Medina and the intervening sands,
I see the caravans toiling onward,