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

90. Poets to Come

POETS to come! orators, singers, musicians to come!

Not to-day is to justify me, and answer what I am for;

But you, a new brood, native, athletic, continental, greater than before known,

Arouse! Arouse—for you must justify me—you must answer.

I myself but write one or two indicative words for the future,

I but advance a moment, only to wheel and hurry back in the darkness.

I am a man who, sauntering along, without fully stopping, turns a casual look upon you, and then averts his face,

Leaving it to you to prove and define it,

Expecting the main things from you.