Arm'd year — year of the struggle,
No dainty rhymes or sentimental love verses for you terrible
Not you as some pale poetling seated at a desk lisping
     cadenzas piano,
But as a strong man erect, clothed in blue clothes, advancing,
     carrying a rifle on your shoulder,
With well-gristled body and sunburnt face and hands, with
     a knife in the belt at your side,
As I heard you shouting loud, your sonorous voice ringing
     across the continent,
Your masculine voice O year, as rising amid the great cities,

Amid the men of Manhattan I saw you as one of the workmen,
     the dwellers in Manhattan,
Or with large steps crossing the prairies out of Illinois and
Rapidly crossing the West with springy gait and descending
     the Alleghanies,
Or down from the great lakes or in Pennsylvania, or on deck
     along the Ohio river,
Or southward along the Tennessee or Cumberland rivers, or
     at Chattanooga on the mountain top,
Saw I your gait and saw I your sinewy limbs clothed in blue,
     bearing weapons, robust year,
Heard your determin'd voice launch'd forth again and again,
Year that suddenly sang by the mouths of the round-lipp'd
I repeat you, hurrying, crashing, sad, distracted year.

(1861?) 1867


Beat! beat! drums! — blow! bugles! blow!
Through the windows — through doors — burst like a ruthless
Into the solemn church, and scatter the congregation,
Into the school where the scholar is studying;
Leave not the bridegroom quiet — no happiness must he have
     now with his bride,
Nor the peaceful farmer any peace, ploughing his field or gathering his grain,
So fierce you whirr and pound you drums — so shrill you bugles blow.

Beat! beat! drums! — blow! bugles! blow!
Over the traffic of cities — over the rumble of wheels in the streets;
Are beds prepared for sleepers at night in the houses? no sleepers must sleep in those beds,
No bargainers' bargains by day — no brokers or speculators
     — would they continue?
Would the talkers be talking? would the singer attempt to

Would the lawyer rise in the court to state his case before the
Then rattle quicker, heavier drums — you bugles wilder blow.

Beat! beat! drums! — blow! bugles! blow!
Make no parley — stop for no expostulation,
Mind not the timid — mind not the weeper or prayer,
Mind not the old man beseeching the young man,
Let not the child's voice be heard, nor the mother's entreaties,
Make even the trestles to shake the dead where they lie
     awaiting the hearses,
So strong you thump O terrible drums — so loud you bugles

1861 1867


From Paumanok starting I fly like a bird,
Around and around to soar to sing the idea of all,
To the north betaking myself to sing there arctic songs,
To Kanada till I absorb Kanada in myself, to Michigan then,
To Wisconsin, Iowa, Minnesota, to sing their songs, (they are
Then to Ohio and Indiana to sing theirs, to Missouri and
     Kansas and Arkansas to sing theirs,
To Tennessee and Kentucky, to the Carolinas and Georgia
     to sing theirs,
To Texas and so along up toward California, to roam
     accepted everywhere;
To sing first, (to the tap of the war-drum if need be,)
The idea of all, of the Western world one and inseparable,
And then the song of each member of these States.

1865 1867

  By PanEris using Melati.

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