But aside from these and the marts of wealth and the crowded
Admitting around me comrades close unseen by the rest and
The slain elate and alive again, the dust and debris alive,
I chant this chant of my silent soul in the name of all dead

Faces so pale with wondrous eyes, very dear, gather closer
Draw close, but speak not.

Phantoms of countless lost,
Invisible to the rest henceforth become my companions,
Follow me ever — desert me not while I live.

Sweet are the blooming cheeks of the living — sweet are
     the musical voices sounding,
But sweet, ah sweet, are the dead with their silent eyes.

Dearest comrades, all is over and long gone,
But love is not over — and what love, O comrades
Perfume from battle-fields rising, up from the foetor arising.

Perfume therefore my chant, O love, immortal love,
Give me to bathe the memories of all dead soldiers,
Shroud them, embalm them, cover them all over with tender

Perfume all — make all wholesome,
Make these ashes to nourish and blossom,
O love, solve all, fructify all with the last chemistry.

Give me exhaustless, make me a fountain,
That I exhale love from me wherever I go like a moist
     perennial dew,
For the ashes of all dead soldiers South or North.

1865 1881



OF these years I sing,
How they pass and have pass'd through convuls'd pains, as
     through parturitions,
How America illustrates birth, muscular youth, the promise,
     the sure fulfilment, the absolute success, despite of
     people — illustrates evil as well as good,
The vehement struggle so fierce for unity in one's -self;
How many hold despairingly yet to the models departed, caste,
     myths, obedience, compulsion, and to infidelity,
How few see the arrived models, the athletes, the Western
     States, or see freedom or spirituality, or hold any faith
     in results,

(But I see the athletes, and I see the results of the war glorious
     and inevitable, and they again leading to other results.)

How the great cities appear — how the Democratic
     masses, turbulent, wilful, as I love them,
How the whirl, the contest, the wrestle of evil with good, the
     sounding and resounding, keep on and on,
How society waits unform'd, and is for a while between things
     ended and things begun,
How America is the continent of glories, and of the triumph
     of freedom and of the Democracies, and of the fruits of
     society, and of all that is begun,
And how the States are complete in themselves —
     and how all triumphs and glories are complete in themselves,
     to lead onward,
And how these of mine and of the States will in their turn be
     convuls'd, and serve other parturitions and transitions,
And how all people, sights, combinations, the democratic
     masses too, serve — and how every fact, and war
     itself, with all its horrors, serves,
And how now or at any time each serves the exquisite
     transition of death.


Of seeds dropping into the ground, of births,
Of the steady concentration of America, inland, upward, to
     impregnable and swarming places,
Of what Indiana, Kentucky, Arkansas, and the rest, are to be,
Of what a few years will show there in Nebraska, Colorado,
     Nevada, and the rest,
(Or afar, mounting the Northern Pacific to Sitka or Aliaska,)
Of what the feuillage of America is the preparation for —
     and of what all sights, North, South, East and West, are,
Of this Union welded in blood, of the solemn price paid, of
     the unnamed lost ever present in my mind;
Of the temporary use of materials for identity's sake,
Of the

  By PanEris using Melati.

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