As I Walk These Broad Majestic Days
by Walt Whitman
As I walk these broad majestic days of peace
(For the war, the struggle of blood finish'd, wherein, O terrific Ideal,
Against vast odds erewhile having gloriously won,
Now thou stridest on, yet perhaps in time toward denser wars,
Perhaps to engage in time in still more dreadful contests, dangers,
Longer campaigns and crises, labours beyond all others),
Around me I hear that éclat of the world, politics, produce,
The announcements of recognized things, science,
The approved growth of cities and the spread of inventions.
I see the ships (they will last a few years),
The vast factories with their foremen and workmen,
And hear the indorsement of all, and do not object to it.
But I too announce solid things,
Science, ships, politics, cities, factories, are not nothing,
Like a grand procession to music of distant bugles pouring, triumphantly moving, and grander heaving in sight,
They stand for realities—all is as it should be.
Then my realities;
What else is so real as mine?
Libertad and the divine average, freedom to every slave on the face of the earth,
The rapt promises and luminè of seers, the spiritual world, these centuries-lasting songs,
And our visions, the visions of poets, the most solid announcements of any.
|from The Patriotic Poems of Walt Whitman (1918)|
|What Best I See in Thee||The United States to Old World Critics|