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Walt Whitman (1819–1892). Leaves of Grass. 1900.

132. Over the Carnage

OVER the carnage rose prophetic a voice,

Be not dishearten’d—Affection shall solve the problems of Freedom yet;

Those who love each other shall become invincible—they shall yet make Columbia victorious.

Sons of the Mother of All! you shall yet be victorious!

You shall yet laugh to scorn the attacks of all the remainder of the earth.

No danger shall balk Columbia’s lovers;

If need be, a thousand shall sternly immolate themselves for one.

One from Massachusetts shall be a Missourian’s comrade;

From Maine and from hot Carolina, and another, an Oregonese, shall be friends triune,

More precious to each other than all the riches of the earth.

To Michigan, Florida perfumes shall tenderly come;

Not the perfumes of flowers, but sweeter, and wafted beyond death.

It shall be customary in the houses and streets to see manly affection;

The most dauntless and rude shall touch face to face lightly;

The dependence of Liberty shall be lovers,

The continuance of Equality shall be comrades.

These shall tie you and band you stronger than hoops of iron;

I, extatic, O partners! O lands! with the love of lovers tie you.

(Were you looking to be held together by the lawyers?

Or by an agreement on a paper? or by arms?

—Nay—nor the world, nor any living thing, will so cohere.)