To Think of Time
8 Slow moving and black lines go ceaselessly over the earth, Northerner goes carried and Southerner goes carried, and they on the Atlantic side and they on the Pacific, And they between, and all through the Mississippi country, and all over the earth. The great masters and kosmos are well as they go, the heroes and good-doers are well, The known leaders and inventors and the rich owners and pious and distinguish'd may be well, But there is more account than that, there is strict account of all. The interminable hordes of the ignorant and wicked are not nothing, The barbarians of Africa and Asia are not nothing, The perpetual successions of shallow people are not nothing as they go. Of and in all these things, I have dream'd that we are not to be changed so much, nor the law of us changed, I have dream'd that heroes and good-doers shall be under the present and past law, And that murderers, drunkards, liars, shall be under the present and past law, For I have dream'd that the law they are under now is enough. And I have dream'd that the purpose and essence of the known life, the transient, Is to form and decide identity for the unknown life, the permanent. If all came but to ashes of dung, If maggots and rats ended us, then Alarum! for we are betray'd, Then indeed suspicion of death. Do you suspect death? if I were to suspect death I should die now, Do you think I could walk pleasantly and well-suited toward annihilation? Pleasantly and well-suited I walk, Whither I walk I cannot define, but I know it is good, The whole universe indicates that it is good, The past and the present indicate that it is good. How beautiful and perfect are the animals! How perfect the earth, and the minutest thing upon it! What is called good is perfect, and what is called bad is just as perfect, The vegetables and minerals are all perfect, and the imponderable fluids perfect; Slowly and surely they have pass'd on to this, and slowly and surely they yet pass on.
Posted on 14/06/2015, 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. Leave a comment.