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

204. Quicksand Years

QUICKSAND years that whirl me I know not whither,

Your schemes, politics, fail—lines give way—substances mock and elude me;

Only the theme I sing, the great and strong-possess’d Soul, eludes not;

One’s-self must never give way—that is the final substance—that out of all is sure;

Out of politics, triumphs, battles, life—what at last finally remains?

When shows break up, what but One’s-Self is sure?