I Was Looking a Long While

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from Leaves of Grass: Book XXIV - by Walt Whitman.

  I was looking a long while for Intentions,
  For a clew 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 modern—all for the average man of to-day.


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