Walt Whitman

(31 May 1819 - 26 March 1892 / New York / United States)

As I Walk These Broad, Majestic Days



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, 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, labors beyond all others;
--As I walk solitary, unattended,
Around me I hear that eclat of the world--politics, produce,
The announcements of recognized things--science,
The approved growth of cities, and the spread of inventions. 10

I see the ships, (they will last a few years,)
The vast factories, with their foremen and workmen,
And here the indorsement of all, and do not object to it.

But I too announce solid things;
Science, ships, politics, cities, factories, are not nothing--I watch
them,
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, 20
The rapt promises and luminé of seers--the spiritual world--these
centuries lasting songs,
And our visions, the visions of poets, the most solid announcements
of any.

For we support all, fuse all,
After the rest is done and gone, we remain;
There is no final reliance but upon us;
Democracy rests finally upon us (I, my brethren, begin it,)
And our visions sweep through eternity.

Submitted: Tuesday, December 31, 2002

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