Nonfiction > E.C. Stedman & E.M. Hutchinson, eds. > A Library of American Literature > 1835–1860
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Stedman and Hutchinson, comps.  A Library of American Literature:
An Anthology in Eleven Volumes.  1891.
Vols. VI–VIII: Literature of the Republic, Part III., 1835–1860
 
Inscriptions
By Walt Whitman (1819–1892)
 
[Born in West Hills, Long Island, N. Y., 1819. Died in Camden, N. J., 1892. Leaves of Grass. 1855.—Leaves of Grass, and Two Rivulets: Centennial Edition. 1876.—Leaves of Grass: with additions. 1881.—November Boughs. 1888.—Complete Works. 1888.]

TO FOREIGN LANDS.

I HEARD that you ask’d for something to prove this puzzle the New World,
And to define America, her athletic Democracy,
Therefore I send you my poems that you behold in them what you wanted.
 
I HEAR AMERICA SINGING.

I HEAR America singing, the varied carols I hear,
Those of mechanics, each one singing his as it should be, blithe and strong,        5
The carpenter singing his as he measures his plank or beam,
The mason singing his as he makes ready for work, or leaves off work,
The boatman singing what belongs to him in his boat, the deckhand singing on the steamboat deck,
The shoemaker singing as he sits on his bench, the hatter singing as he stands,
The wood-cutter’s song, the ploughboy’s on his way in the morning, or at noon intermission or at sundown,        10
The delicious singing of the mother, or of the young wife at work, or of the girl sewing or washing,
Each singing what belongs to him or her and to none else,
The day what belongs to the day—at night the party of young fellows, robust, friendly,
Singing with open mouths their strong melodious songs.
 
 
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