Song of the Exposition
8 And thou America, Thy offspring towering e'er so high, yet higher Thee above all towering, With Victory on thy left, and at thy right hand Law; Thou Union holding all, fusing, absorbing, tolerating all, Thee, ever thee, I sing. Thou, also thou, a World, With all thy wide geographies, manifold, different, distant, Rounded by thee in one—one common orbic language, One common indivisible destiny for All. And by the spells which ye vouchsafe to those your ministers in earnest, I here personify and call my themes, to make them pass before ye. Behold, America! (and thou, ineffable guest and sister!) For thee come trooping up thy waters and thy lands; Behold! thy fields and farms, thy far-off woods and mountains, As in procession coming. Behold, the sea itself, And on its limitless, heaving breast, the ships; See, where their white sails, bellying in the wind, speckle the green and blue, See, the steamers coming and going, steaming in or out of port, See, dusky and undulating, the long pennants of smoke. Behold, in Oregon, far in the north and west, Or in Maine, far in the north and east, thy cheerful axemen, Wielding all day their axes. Behold, on the lakes, thy pilots at their wheels, thy oarsmen, How the ash writhes under those muscular arms! There by the furnace, and there by the anvil, Behold thy sturdy blacksmiths swinging their sledges, Overhand so steady, overhand they turn and fall with joyous clank, Like a tumult of laughter. Mark the spirit of invention everywhere, thy rapid patents, Thy continual workshops, foundries, risen or rising, See, from their chimneys how the tall flame-fires stream. Mark, thy interminable farms, North, South, Thy wealthy daughter-states, Eastern and Western, The varied products of Ohio, Pennsylvania, Missouri, Georgia, Texas, and the rest, Thy limitless crops, grass, wheat, sugar, oil, corn, rice, hemp, hops, Thy barns all fill'd, the endless freight-train and the bulging store-house, The grapes that ripen on thy vines, the apples in thy orchards, Thy incalculable lumber, beef, pork, potatoes, thy coal, thy gold and silver, The inexhaustible iron in thy mines. All thine O sacred Union! Ships, farms, shops, barns, factories, mines, City and State, North, South, item and aggregate, We dedicate, dread Mother, all to thee! Protectress absolute, thou! bulwark of all! For well we know that while thou givest each and all, (generous as God,) Without thee neither all nor each, nor land, home, Nor ship, nor mine, nor any here this day secure, Nor aught, nor any day secure.
Posted on 15/10/2014, 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.