BOOKXXXV. GOOD-BYE MY FANCY
Sail out for Good, Eidolon Yacht!
Heave the anchor short! Raise main-sail and jib—steer forth, O little white-hull'd sloop, now speed on really deep waters, (I will not call it our concluding voyage, But outset and sure entrance to the truest, best, maturest;) Depart, depart from solid earth—no more returning to these shores, Now on for aye our infinite free venture wending, Spurning all yet tried ports, seas, hawsers, densities, gravitation, Sail out for good, eidolon yacht of me!
After the Supper and Talk
After the supper and talk—after the day is done, As a friend from friends his final withdrawal prolonging, Good-bye and Good-bye with emotional lips repeating, (So hard for his hand to release those hands—no more will they meet, No more for communion of sorrow and joy, of old and young, A far-stretching journey awaits him, to return no more,) Shunning, postponing severance—seeking to ward off the last word ever so little, E'en at the exit-door turning—charges superfluous calling back— e'en as he descends the steps, Something to eke out a minute additional—shadows of nightfall deepening, Farewells, messages lessening—dimmer the forthgoer's visage and form, Soon to be lost for aye in the darkness—loth, O so loth to depart! Garrulous to the very last.
Old Age’s Lambent Peaks
The touch of flame—the illuminating fire—the loftiest look at last, O'er city, passion, sea—o'er prairie, mountain, wood—the earth itself, The airy, different, changing hues of all, in failing twilight, Objects and groups, bearings, faces, reminiscences; The calmer sight—the golden setting, clear and broad: So much i' the atmosphere, the points of view, the situations whence we scan, Bro't out by them alone—so much (perhaps the best) unreck'd before; The lights indeed from them—old age's lambent peaks.
Now Precedent Songs, Farewell
Now precedent songs, farewell—by every name farewell, (Trains of a staggering line in many a strange procession, waggons, From ups and downs—with intervals—from elder years, mid-age, or youth,) "In Cabin'd Ships, or Thee Old Cause or Poets to Come Or Paumanok, Song of Myself, Calamus, or Adam, Or Beat! Beat! Drums! or To the Leaven'd Soil they Trod, Or Captain! My Captain! Kosmos, Quicksand Years, or Thoughts, Thou Mother with thy Equal Brood," and many, many more unspecified, From fibre heart of mine—from throat and tongue—(My life's hot pulsing blood, The personal urge and form for me—not merely paper, automatic type and ink,) Each song of mine—each utterance in the past—having its long, long history, Of life or death, or soldier's wound, of country's loss or safety, (O heaven! what flash and started endless train of all! compared indeed to that! What wretched shred e'en at the best of all!)
As the Greek’s Signal Flame
As the Greek's signal flame, by antique records told, Rose from the hill-top, like applause and glory, Welcoming in fame some special veteran, hero, With rosy tinge reddening the land he'd served, So I aloft from Mannahatta's ship-fringed shore, Lift high a kindled brand for thee, Old Poet.
Not Meagre, Latent Boughs Alone
Not meagre, latent boughs alone, O songs! (scaly and bare, like eagles' talons,) But haply for some sunny day (who knows?) some future spring, some summer—bursting forth, To verdant leaves, or sheltering shade—to nourishing fruit, Apples and grapes—the stalwart limbs of trees emerging—the fresh, free, open air, And love and faith, like scented roses blooming.