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THOU Mother with thy equal brood,

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Thou varied chain of different States, yet one identity only,

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A special song before I go Id sing oer all the rest,

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For thee, the future.

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Id sow a seed for thee of endless Nationality,

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Id fashion thy ensemble including body and soul,

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Id show away ahead thy real Union, and how it may be accomplishd.

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The paths to the house I seek to make,

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But leave to those to come the house itself.

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Belief I sing, and preparation;

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As Life and Nature are not great with reference to the present only,

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But greater still from what is yet to come,

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Out of that formula for thee I sing.

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As a strong bird on pinions free,

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Joyous, the amplest spaces heavenward cleaving,

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Such be the thought Id think of thee America,

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Such be the recitative Id bring for thee.

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The conceits of the poets of other lands Id bring thee not,

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Nor the compliments that have served their turn so long,

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Nor rhyme, nor the classics, nor perfume of foreign court or indoor library;

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But an odor Id bring as from forests of pine in Maine, or breath of an Illinois prairie,

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With open airs of Virginia or Georgia or Tennessee, or from Texas uplands, or Floridas glades,

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Or the Saguenays black stream, or the wide blue spread of Huron,

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With presentment of Yellowstones scenes, or Yosemite,

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And murmuring under, pervading all, Id bring the rustling sea-sound,

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That endlessly sounds from the two Great Seas of the world.

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And for thy subtler sense subtler refrains dread Mother,

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Preludes of intellect tallying these and thee, mind-formulas fitted for thee, real and sane and large as these and thee,

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Thou! mounting higher, diving deeper than we knew, thou transcendental Union!

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By thee fact to be justified, blended with thought,

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Thought of man justified, blended with God,

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Through thy idea, lo, the immortal reality!

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Through thy reality, lo, the immortal idea!

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Brain of the New World, what a task is thine,

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To formulate the Modern—out of the peerless grandeur of the modern,

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Out of thyself, comprising science, to recast poems, churches, art,

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(Recast, may-be discard them, end them—may-be their work is done, who knows?)

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By vision, hand, conception, on the background of the mighty past, the dead,

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To limn with absolute faith the mighty living present.

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And yet thou living present brain, heir of the dead, the Old World brain,

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Thou that lay folded like an unborn babe within its folds so long,

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Thou carefully prepared by it so long—haply thou but unfoldest it, only maturest it,

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It to eventuate in thee—the essence of the by-gone time containd in thee,

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Its poems, churches, arts, unwitting to themselves, destined with reference to thee;

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Thou but the apples, long, long, long a-growing,

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The fruit of all the Old ripening to-day in thee.

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Sail, sail thy best, ship of Democracy,

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Of value is thy freight, tis not the Present only,

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The Past is also stored in thee,

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Thou holdest not the venture of thyself alone, not of the Western continent alone,

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Earths résumé entire floats on thy keel O ship, is steadied by thy spars,

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With thee Time voyages in trust, the antecedent nations sink or swim with thee,

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With all their ancient struggles, martyrs, heroes, epics, wars, thou bearst the other continents,

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Theirs, theirs as much as thine, the destination-port triumphant;

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Steer then with good strong hand and wary eye O helmsman, thou carriest great companions,

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Venerable priestly Asia sails this day with thee,

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And royal feudal Europe sails with thee.

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Beautiful world of new superber birth that rises to my eyes,

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Like a limitless golden cloud filling the western sky,

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Emblem of general maternity lifted above all,

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Sacred shape of the bearer of daughters and sons,

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Out of thy teeming womb thy giant babes in ceaseless procession issuing,

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Acceding from such gestation, taking and giving continual strength and life,

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World of the real—world of the twain in one,

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World of the soul, born by the world of the real alone, led to identity, body, by it alone,

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Yet in beginning only, incalculable masses of composite precious materials,

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By historys cycles forwarded, by every nation, language, hither sent,

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Ready, collected here, a freer, vast, electric world, to be constructed here,

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(The true New World, the world of orbic science, morals, literatures to come,)

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Thou wonder world yet undefined, unformd, neither do I define thee,

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How can I pierce the impenetrable blank of the future?

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I feel thy ominous greatness evil as well as good,

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I watch thee advancing, absorbing the present, transcending the past,

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I see thy light lighting, and thy shadow shadowing, as if the entire globe,

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But I do not undertake to define thee, hardly to comprehend thee,

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I but thee name, thee prophesy, as now,

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I merely thee ejaculate!

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Thee in thy future,

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Thee in thy only permanent life, career, thy own unloosend mind, thy soaring spirit,

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Thee as another equally needed sun, radiant, ablaze, swift-moving, fructifying all,

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Thee risen in potent cheerfulness and joy, in endless great hilarity,

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Scattering for good the cloud that hung so long, that weighd so long upon the mind of man,

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The doubt, suspicion, dread, of gradual, certain decadence of man;

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Thee in thy larger, saner brood of female, male—thee in thy athletes, moral, spiritual, South, North, West, East,

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(To thy immortal breasts, Mother of All, thy every daughter, son, endeard alike, forever equal,)

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Thee in thy own musicians, singers, artists, unborn yet, but certain,

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Thee in thy moral wealth and civilization, (until which thy proudest material civilization must remain in vain,)

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Thee in thy all-supplying, all-enclosing worship—thee in no single bible, saviour, merely,

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Thy saviours countless, latent within thyself, thy bibles incessant within thyself, equal to any, divine as any,

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(Thy soaring course thee formulating, not in thy two great wars, nor in thy centurys visible growth,

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But far more in these leaves and chants, thy chants, great Mother!)

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Thee in an education grown of thee, in teachers, studies, students, born of thee,

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Thee in thy democratic fêtes en-masse, thy high original festivals, operas, lecturers, preachers,

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Thee in thy ultimata, (the preparations only now completed, the edifice on sure foundations tied,)

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Thee in thy pinnacles, intellect, thought, thy topmost rational joys, thy love and godlike aspiration,

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In thy resplendent coming literati, thy full-lungd orators, thy sacerdotal bards, kosmic savans,

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These! these in thee, (certain to come,) to-day I prophesy.

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Land tolerating all, accepting all, not for the good alone, all good for thee,

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Land in the realms of God to be a realm unto thyself,

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Under the rule of God to be a rule unto thyself.

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(Lo, where arise three peerless stars,

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To be thy natal stars my country, Ensemble, Evolution, Freedom,

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Set in the sky of Law.)

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Land of unprecedented faith, Gods faith,

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Thy soil, thy very subsoil, all upheavd,

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The general inner earth so long so sedulously draped over, now hence for what it is boldly laid bare,

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Opend by thee to heavens light for benefit or bale.

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Not for success alone,

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Not to fair-sail unintermitted always,

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The storm shall dash thy face, the murk of war and worse than war shall cover thee all over,

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(Wert capable of war, its tug and trials? be capable of peace, its trials,

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For the tug and mortal strain of nations come at last in prosperous peace, not war;)

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In many a smiling mask death shall approach beguiling thee, thou in disease shalt swelter,

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The livid cancer spread its hideous claws, clinging upon thy breasts, seeking to strike thee deep within,

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Consumption of the worst, moral consumption, shall rouge thy face with hectic,

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But thou shalt face thy fortunes, thy diseases, and surmount them all,

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Whatever they are to-day and whatever through time they may be,

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They each and all shall lift and pass away and cease from thee,

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While thou, Times spirals rounding, out of thyself, thyself still extricating, fusing,

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Equable, natural, mystical Union thou, (the mortal with immortal blent,)

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Shalt soar toward the fulfilment of the future, the spirit of the body and the mind,

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The soul, its destinies.

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The soul, its destinies, the real real,

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(Purport of all these apparitions of the real;)

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In thee America, the soul, its destinies,

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Thou globe of globes! thou wonder nebulous!

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By many a throe of heat and cold convulsd, (by these thyself solidifying,)

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Thou mental, moral orb—thou New, indeed new, Spiritual World!

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The Present holds thee not—for such vast growth as thine,

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For such unparalleld flight as thine, such brood as thine,

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The FUTURE only holds thee and can hold thee.