Page images

Yet upon the plains west of the spinal river, yet in my house of

adobie, Yet returning eastward, yet in the Seaside State or in Maryland, Yet Kanadian cheerily braving the winter, the snow and ice wel

come to me, Yet a true son either of Maine or of the Granite State, or the

Narragansett Bay State, or the Empire State, Yet sailing to other shores to annex the same, yet welcoming every

new brother, Hereby applying these leaves to the new ones from the hour they

unite with the old ones, Coming among the new ones myself to be their companion and

equal, coming personally to you now, Enjoining you to acts, characters, spectacles, with me.

15 With me with firm holding, yet haste, haste on.

For your life adhere to me, (I may have to be persuaded many times before I consent to give

myself really to you, but what of that? Must not Nature be persuaded many times?) No dainty dolce affettuoso I, Bearded, sun-burnt, gray-neck'd, forbidding, I have arrived, To be wrestled with as I pass for the solid prizes of the universe, For such I afford whoever can persevere to win them.


On my way a moment I pause,
Here for you! and here for America !
Still the present I raise aloft, still the future of the States I

harbinge glad and sublime, And for the past I pronounce what the air holds of the red


The red aborigines,
Leaving natural breaths, sounds of rain and winds, calls as of birds

and animals in the woods, syllabled to us for names, Okonee, Koosa, Ottawa, Monongahela, Sauk, Natchez, Chatta

hoochee, Kaqueta, Oronoco, Wabash, Miami, Saginaw, Chippewa, Oshkosh, Walla-Walla, Leaving such to the States they melt, they depart, charging the

water and the land with names.

17 Expanding and swift, henceforth, Elements, breeds, adjustments, turbulent, quick and audacious, A world primal again, vistas of glory incessant and branching, A new race dominating previous ones and grander far, with new

contests, New politics, new literatures and religions, new inventions and arts.

These, my voice announcing - I will sleep no more but arise,
You oceans that have been calm within me! how I feel you, fathom-

less, stirring, preparing unprecedented waves and storms.

18 See, steamers steaming through my poems, See, in my poems immigrants continually coming and landing, See, in arriere, the wigwam, the trail, the hunter's hut, the flat-boat,

the maize-leaf, the claim, the rude fence, and the backwoods

village, See, on the one side the Western Sea and on the other the Eastern

Sea, how they advance and retreat upon my poems as upon

their own shores, See, pastures and forests in my poems — see, animals wild and

tame — see, beyond the Kaw, countless herds of buffalo

feeding on short curly grass, See, in my poems, cities, solid, vast, inland, with paved streets,

with iron and stone edifices, ceaseless vehicles, and com

merce, See, the many-cylinder'd steam printing-press — see, the electric

telegraph stretching across the continent, See, through Atlantica's depths pulses American Europe reaching,

pulses of Europe duly return'd, See, the strong and quick locomotive as it departs, panting, blowing

the steam-whistle, See, ploughmen ploughing farms - see, miners digging mines

see, the numberless factories, See, mechanics busy at their benches with tools --- see from among

them superior judges, philosophs, Presidents, emerge, drest

in working dresses, See, lounging through the shops and fields of the States, me well

belov'd, close-held by day and night, Hear the loud echoes of my songs there — read the hints come at last.

19 ( camerado close ! O you and me at last, and us two only.

« PreviousContinue »