Walt Whitman (1819-1892). Leaves
SINGING my days,
Singing the great achievements
of the present,
Singing the strong, light works
Our modem wonders, (the antique ponderous Seven outvied,)
In the Old World, the east, the Suez canal,
The New by its mighty railroad spann'd,
The seas inlaid with eloquent, gentle wires,
I sound, to commence, the cry, with thee, 0 soul,
The Past! the Past! the Past!
The Past! the dark, unfathom'd retrospect!
The teeming gulf! the sleepers and the shadows!
The past! the infinite greatness
of the past!
For what is the present, after all, but a growth out
of the past?
(As a projectile, form'd, impell'd, passing a certain line, still keeps on,
So the present, utterly form'd, impell'd by the past.)
Passage, 0 soul, to India!
Ec1aircise the myths
Asiatic-the primitive fables.
Not you alone, proud truths
of the world!
Nor you alone, ye facts
But myths and fables