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

330. In Former Songs


IN former songs Pride have I sung, and Love, and passionate, joyful Life,

But here I twine the strands of Patriotism and Death.

And now, Life, Pride, Love, Patriotism and Death,

To you, O FREEDOM, purport of all!

(You that elude me most—refusing to be caught in songs of mine,)

I offer all to you.


’Tis not for nothing, Death,

I sound out you, and words of you, with daring tone—embodying you,

In my new Democratic chants—keeping you for a close,

For last impregnable retreat—a citadel and tower,

For my last stand—my pealing, final cry.