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Poems By Poet Walt Whitman  8/22/2014 12:40:45 PM
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Walt Whitman   Best Poems From
  WALT WHITMAN (31 May 1819 - 26 March 1892)
 
 
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  149.     

Hast Never Come To Thee An Hour

HAST never come to thee an hour,
A sudden gleam divine, precipitating, bursting all these bubbles,
fashions, wealth?
These eager business aims--books, politics, art, amours,
To utter nothingness?
 
Walt Whitman
   
 

   
   
 

  150.     

Me Imperturbe


ME imperturbe, standing at ease in Nature,
Master of all, or mistress of all--aplomb in the midst of irrational
things,
Imbued as they--passive, receptive, silent as they,
Finding my occupation, poverty, notoriety, foibles, crimes, less
important than I thought;
Me private, or public, or menial, or solitary--all these subordinate,
(I am eternally equal with the best--I am not subordinate;)
Me toward the Mexican Sea, or in the Mannahatta, or the Tennessee, or
far north, or inland,
A river man, or a man of the woods, or of any farm-life in These
States, or of the coast, or the lakes, or Kanada,
Me, wherever my life is lived, O to be
self-balanced for
contingencies!
O to confront night, storms, hunger, ridicule, accidents, rebuffs, as
the trees and animals do.
 
Walt Whitman

Read more: poverty poems, river poems, nature poems, sea poems, night poems, life poems, animal poems, tree poems
   
 

   
   
 

  151.     

Song Of The Redwood-Tree


A CALIFORNIA song!
A prophecy and indirection--a thought impalpable, to breathe, as air;
A chorus of dryads, fading, departing--or hamadryads departing;
A murmuring, fateful, giant voice, out of the earth and sky,
Voice of a mighty dying tree in the Redwood forest dense.

Farewell, my brethren,
Farewell, O earth and sky--farewell, ye neighboring waters;
My time has ended, my term has come.


Along the northern coast,
Just back from the rock-bound shore, and the caves, 10
In the saline air from the sea, in the Mendocino country,
With the surge for bass and accompaniment low and hoarse,
With crackling blows of axes, sounding musically, driven by strong
arms,
Riven deep by the sharp tongues of the axes--there in the Redwood
forest dense,
I heard the mighty tree its death-chant chanting.

The choppers heard not--the camp shanties echoed not;
The quick-ear'd teamsters, and chain and jack-screw men, heard not,
As the wood-spirits came from their haunts of a thousand years, to
join the refrain;
But in my soul I plainly heard.

Murmuring out of its myriad leaves, 20
Down from its lofty top, rising two hundred feet high,
Out of its stalwart trunk and limbs--out of its foot-thick bark,
That chant of the seasons and time--chant, not of the past only, but
the future.


You untold life of me,
And all you venerable and innocent joys,
Perennial, hardy life of me, with joys, 'mid rain, and many a summer
sun,
And the white snows, and night, and the wild winds;
O the great patient, rugged joys! my soul's strong joys, unreck'd by
man;
(For know I bear the soul befitting me--I too have consciousness,
identity,
And all the rocks and mountains have--and all the earth;) 30
Joys of the life befitting me and brothers mine,
Our time, our term has come.

Nor yield we mournfully, majestic brothers,
We who have grandly fill'd our time;
With Nature's calm content, and tacit, huge delight,
We welcome what we wrought for through the past,
And leave the field for them.

For them predicted long,
For a superber Race--they too to grandly fill their time,
For them we abdicate--in them ourselves, ye forest kings! 40
In them these skies and airs--these mountain peaks--Shasta--Nevadas,
These huge, precipitous cliffs--this amplitude--these valleys grand--
Yosemite,
To be in them absorb'd, assimilated.


Then to a loftier strain,
Still prouder, more ecstatic, rose the chant,
As if the heirs, the Deities of the West,
Joining, with master-tongue, bore part.

Not wan from Asia's fetishes,
Nor red from Europe's old dynastic slaughter-house,
(Area of murder-plots of thrones, with scent left yet of wars and
scaffolds every where,) 50
But come from Nature's long and harmless throes--peacefully builded
thence,
These virgin lands--Lands of the Western Shore,
To the new Culminating Man--to you, the Empire New,
You, promis'd long, we pledge, we dedicate.

You occult, deep volitions,
You average Spiritual Manhood, purpose of all, pois'd on yourself--
giving, not taking law,
You Womanhood divine, mistress and source of all, whence life and
love, and aught that comes from life and love,
You unseen Moral Essence of all the vast materials of America, (age
upon age, working in Death the same as Life,)
You that, sometimes known, oftener unknown, really shape and mould
the New World, adjusting it to Time and Space,
You hidden National Will, lying in your abysms, conceal'd, but ever
alert, 60
You past and present purposes, tenaciously pursued, may-be
unconscious of yourselves,
Unswerv'd by all the passing errors, perturbations of the surface;
You vital, universal, deathless germs, beneath all creeds, arts,
statutes, literatures,
Here build your homes for good--establish here--These areas entire,
Lands of the Western Shore,
We pledge, we dedicate to you.

For man of you--your characteristic Race,
Here may be hardy, sweet, gigantic grow--here tower, proportionate to
Nature,
Here climb the vast, pure spaces, unconfined, uncheck'd by wall or
roof,
Here laugh with storm or sun--here joy--here patiently inure,
Here heed himself, unfold himself (not others' formulas heed)--here
fill his time, 70
To duly fall, to aid, unreck'd at last,
To disappear, to serve.

Thus, on the northern coast,
In the echo of teamsters' calls, and the clinking chains, and the
music of choppers' axes,
The falling trunk and limbs, the crash, the muffled shriek, the
groan,
Such words combined from the Redwood-tree--as of wood-spirits' voices
ecstatic, ancient and rustling,
The century-lasting, unseen dryads, singing, withdrawing,
All their recesses of forests and mountains leaving,
From the Cascade range to the Wasatch--or Idaho far, or Utah,
To the deities of the Modern henceforth yielding, 80
The chorus and indications, the vistas of coming humanity--the
settlements, features all,
In the Mendocino woods I caught.


The flashing and golden pageant of California!
The sudden and gorgeous drama--the sunny and ample lands;
The long and varied stretch from Puget Sound to Colorado south;
Lands bathed in sweeter, rarer, healthier air--valleys and mountain
cliffs;
The fields of Nature long prepared and fallow--the silent, cyclic
chemistry;
The slow and steady ages plodding--the unoccupied surface ripening--
the rich ores forming beneath;
At last the New arriving, assuming, taking possession,
A swarming and busy race settling and organizing every where;
Ships coming in from the whole round world, and going out to the
whole world, 90
To India and China and Australia, and the thousand island paradises
of the Pacific;
Populous cities--the latest inventions--the steamers on the rivers--
the railroads--with many a thrifty farm, with machinery,
And wool, and wheat, and the grape--and diggings of yellow gold.


But more in you than these, Lands of the Western Shore!
(These but the means, the implements, the standing-ground,)
I see in you, certain to come, the promise of thousands of years,
till now deferr'd,
Promis'd, to be fulfill'd, our common kind, the Race.

The New Society at last, proportionate to Nature,
In Man of you, more than your mountain peaks, or stalwart trees
imperial, 100
In Woman more, far more, than all your gold, or vines, or even vital
air.

Fresh come, to a New World indeed, yet long prepared,
I see the Genius of the Modern, child of the Real and Ideal,
Clearing the ground for broad humanity, the true America, heir of the
past so grand,
To build a grander future.
 
Walt Whitman

Read more: farewell poems, nature poems, america poems, tree poems, future poems, identity poems, murder poems, time poems, world poems, sky poems, death poems, life poems, song poems, sun poems, sometimes poems, music poems, woman poems, summer poems, rose poems, house poems
   
 

   
   
 

  152.     

To One Shortly To Die


FROM all the rest I single out you, having a message for you:
You are to die--Let others tell you what they please, I cannot
prevaricate,
I am exact and merciless, but I love you--There is no escape for you.

Softly I lay my right hand upon you--you just feel it,
I do not argue--I bend my head close, and half envelope it,
I sit quietly by--I remain faithful,
I am more than nurse, more than parent or neighbor,
I absolve you from all except yourself, spiritual, bodily--that is
eternal--you yourself will surely escape,
The corpse you will leave will be but excrementitious.


The sun bursts through in unlooked-for directions! 10
Strong thoughts fill you, and confidence--you smile!
You forget you are sick, as I forget you are sick,
You do not see the medicines--you do not mind the weeping friends--I
am with you,
I exclude others from you--there is nothing to be commiserated,
I do not commiserate--I congratulate you.
 
Walt Whitman

Read more: sick poems, smile poems, sun poems, friend poems
   
 
 
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