Thanks in Old Age
Thanks in old age—thanks ere I go, For health, the midday sun, the impalpable air—for life, mere life, For precious ever-lingering memories, (of you my mother dear—you, father—you, brothers, sisters, friends,) For all my days—not those of peace alone—the days of war the same, For gentle words, caresses, gifts from foreign lands, For shelter, wine and meat—for sweet appreciation, (You distant, dim unknown—or young or old—countless, unspecified, readers belov'd, We never met, and neer shall meet—and yet our souls embrace, long, close and long;) For beings, groups, love, deeds, words, books—for colors, forms, For all the brave strong men—devoted, hardy men—who've forward sprung in freedom's help, all years, all lands For braver, stronger, more devoted men—(a special laurel ere I go, to life's war's chosen ones, The cannoneers of song and thought—the great artillerists—the foremost leaders, captains of the soul:) As soldier from an ended war return'd—As traveler out of myriads, to the long procession retrospective, Thanks—joyful thanks!—a soldier's, traveler's thanks.
Posted on 16/10/2015, 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.