Walt Whitman

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

Spain 1873-'74 Poem by Walt Whitman


OUT of the murk of heaviest clouds,
Out of the feudal wrecks, and heap'd-up skeletons of kings,
Out of that old entire European debris--the shatter'd mummeries,
Ruin'd cathedrals, crumble of palaces, tombs of priests,
Lo! Freedom's features, fresh, undimm'd, look forth--the same
immortal face looks forth;
(A glimpse as of thy mother's face, Columbia,
A flash significant as of a sword,
Beaming towards thee.)

Nor think we forget thee, Maternal;
Lag'd'st thou so long? Shall the clouds close again upon thee? 10
Ah, but thou hast Thyself now appear'd to us--we know thee;
Thou hast given us a sure proof, the glimpse of Thyself;
Thou waitest there, as everywhere, thy time.

Submitted: Tuesday, December 31, 2002

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