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

176. As the Time Draws Nigh


AS the time draws nigh, glooming, a cloud,

A dread beyond, of I know not what, darkens me.

I shall go forth,

I shall traverse The States awhile—but I cannot tell whither or how long;

Perhaps soon, some day or night while I am singing, my voice will suddenly cease.


O book, O chants! must all then amount to but this?

Must we barely arrive at this beginning of us?… And yet it is enough, O soul!

O soul! we have positively appear’d—that is enough.