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C.N. Douglas, comp.  Forty Thousand Quotations: Prose and Poetical.  1917.
 
Walt Whitman
 
        Great is Youth—equally great is Old Age—great are Day and Night.
Great is Wealth—great is Poverty—great is Expression—great is Silence.
  1
        In this broad earth of ours,
Amid the measureless grossness and the slag,
Enclosed and safe within its central heart,
Nestles the seed perfection.
  2
        Lo! body and soul!—this land!
Mighty Manhattan, with spires, and
The sparkling and hurrying tides, and the ships;
The varied and ample land—the South
And the North in the light—Ohio’s shores, and flashing Missouri,
And ever the far-spreading prairies, covered with grass and corn.
  3
        Of the terrible doubt of appearances,
Of the uncertainty after all, that we may be deluded,
That maybe reliance and hope are but speculations after all,
That maybe identity beyond the grave is a beautiful fable only,
Maybe the things I perceive, the animals, plants, men, hills, shining and flowing waters,
The skies of day and night, colors, densities, forms, maybe these are (as doubtless they are) only apparitions, and the real something has yet to be known.
  4
        Oh, a strange hand writes for our dear son—O, stricken mother’s soul!
All swims before her eyes—flashes with black—she catches the main words only;
Sentences broken—gun-shot wound in the breast, cavalry skirmish, taken to hospital;
At present low, but will soon be better.
  5
        The house-builder at work in cities or anywhere,
The preparatory jointing, squaring, sawing, mortising,
The hoist-up of beams, the push of them in their places, laying them regular,
Setting the studs by their tenons in the mortises, according as they were prepared,
The blows of the mallets and hammers.
  6
  A man is a great thing upon the earth and through eternity; but every jot of the greatness of man is unfolded out of woman.  7
  Nothing endures but personal qualities.  8
  The butcher in his killing clothes.  9
  The carpenter dresses his plank—the tongue of his fore-plane whistles its wild ascending lisp.  10
 
 
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