Song of the Broad-Axe
4 Muscle and pluck forever! What invigorates life invigorates death, And the dead advance as much as the living advance, And the future is no more uncertain than the present, For the roughness of the earth and of man encloses as much as the delicatesse of the earth and of man, And nothing endures but personal qualities. What do you think endures? Do you think a great city endures? Or a teeming manufacturing state? or a prepared constitution? or the best built steamships? Or hotels of granite and iron? or any chef-d'oeuvres of engineering, forts, armaments? Away! these are not to be cherish'd for themselves, They fill their hour, the dancers dance, the musicians play for them, The show passes, all does well enough of course, All does very well till one flash of defiance. A great city is that which has the greatest men and women, If it be a few ragged huts it is still the greatest city in the whole world.
Posted on 29/09/2014, in literature, poetry and tagged 19th Century Poetry, American literature, American poets, Daily Whitman, free verse, Leaves of Grass, literature, poems, poetry, Transcendentalists, Walt Whitman. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.