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

246. One Song, America, Before I Go

ONE song, America, before I go,

I’d sing, o’er all the rest, with trumpet sound,

For thee—the Future.

I’d sow a seed for thee of endless Nationality;

I’d fashion thy Ensemble, including Body and Soul;

I’d show, away ahead, thy real Union, and how it may be accomplish’d.

(The paths to the House I seek to make,

But leave to those to come, the House itself.)

Belief I sing—and Preparation;

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

But greater still from what is yet to come,

Out of that formula for Thee I sing.