Walt Whitman

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

Not The Pilot



NOT the pilot has charged himself to bring his ship into port, though
beaten back, and many times baffled;
Not the path-finder, penetrating inland, weary and long,
By deserts parch'd, snows-chill'd, rivers wet, perseveres till he
reaches his destination,
More than I have charged myself, heeded or unheeded, to compose a
free march for These States,
To be exhilarating music to them--a battle-call, rousing to arms, if
need be--years, centuries hence.

Submitted: Tuesday, December 31, 2002

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