Daily Whitman

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By Blue Ontario’s Shore

6
  Land of lands and bards to corroborate!
  Of them standing among them, one lifts to the light a west-bred face,
  To him the hereditary countenance bequeath'd both mother's and father's,
  His first parts substances, earth, water, animals, trees,
  Built of the common stock, having room for far and near,
  Used to dispense with other lands, incarnating this land,
  Attracting it body and soul to himself, hanging on its neck with
      incomparable love,
  Plunging his seminal muscle into its merits and demerits,
  Making its cities, beginnings, events, diversities, wars, vocal in him,
  Making its rivers, lakes, bays, embouchure in him,
  Mississippi with yearly freshets and changing chutes, Columbia,
      Niagara, Hudson, spending themselves lovingly in him,
  If the Atlantic coast stretch or the Pacific coast stretch, he
      stretching with them North or South,
  Spanning between them East and West, and touching whatever is between them,
  Growths growing from him to offset the growths of pine, cedar, hemlock,
      live-oak, locust, chestnut, hickory, cottonwood, orange, magnolia,
  Tangles as tangled in him as any canebrake or swamp,
  He likening sides and peaks of mountains, forests coated with
      northern transparent ice,
  Off him pasturage sweet and natural as savanna, upland, prairie,
  Through him flights, whirls, screams, answering those of the
      fish-hawk, mocking-bird, night-heron, and eagle,
  His spirit surrounding his country's spirit, unclosed to good and evil,
  Surrounding the essences of real things, old times and present times,
  Surrounding just found shores, islands, tribes of red aborigines,
  Weather-beaten vessels, landings, settlements, embryo stature and muscle,
  The haughty defiance of the Year One, war, peace, the formation of
      the Constitution,
  The separate States, the simple elastic scheme, the immigrants,
  The Union always swarming with blatherers and always sure and impregnable,
  The unsurvey'd interior, log-houses, clearings, wild animals,
      hunters, trappers,
  Surrounding the multiform agriculture, mines, temperature, the
      gestation of new States,
  Congress convening every Twelfth-month, the members duly coming
      up from the uttermost parts,
  Surrounding the noble character of mechanics and farmers, especially
      the young men,
  Responding their manners, speech, dress, friendships, the gait they
      have of persons who never knew how it felt to stand in the
      presence of superiors,
  The freshness and candor of their physiognomy, the copiousness and
      decision of their phrenology,
  The picturesque looseness of their carriage, their fierceness when wrong'd,
  The fluency of their speech, their delight in music, their curiosity,
      good temper and open-handedness, the whole composite make,
  The prevailing ardor and enterprise, the large amativeness,
  The perfect equality of the female with the male, the fluid movement
      of the population,
  The superior marine, free commerce, fisheries, whaling, gold-digging,
  Wharf-hemm'd cities, railroad and steamboat lines intersecting all points,
  Factories, mercantile life, labor-saving machinery, the Northeast,
      Northwest, Southwest,
  Manhattan firemen, the Yankee swap, southern plantation life,
  Slavery—the murderous, treacherous conspiracy to raise it upon the
      ruins of all the rest,
  On and on to the grapple with it—Assassin! then your life or ours
      be the stake, and respite no more.

Posted on 12/03/2015, in literature, poetry and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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