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
 
From the “Song of Myself”: And Still I Mount and Mount
By Walt Whitman (1819–1892)
 
[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. See full text.]

LONG I was hugg’d close—long and long.
 
Immense have been the preparations for me,
Faithful and friendly the arms that have help’d me.
Cycles ferried my cradle, rowing and rowing like cheerful boatmen,
For room to me stars kept aside in their own rings,        5
They sent influences to look after what was to hold me.
 
Before I was born out of my mother generations guided me,
My embryo has never been torpid, nothing could overlay it.
 
For it the nebula cohered to an orb,
The long slow strata piled to rest it on,        10
Vast vegetables gave it sustenance,
Monstrous sauroids transported it in their mouths and deposited it with care.
 
All forces have been steadily employ’d to complete and delight me,
Now on this spot I stand with my robust soul.
*        *        *        *        *
Old age superbly rising! O welcome, ineffable grace of dying days!        15
 
Every condition promulges not only itself, it promulges what grows after and out of itself,
And the dark hush promulges as much as any.
 
I open my scuttle at night and see the far-sprinkled systems,
And all I see multiplied as high as I can cipher edge but the rim of the farther systems.
 
Wider and wider they spread, expanding, always expanding,        20
Outward and outward and forever outward.
My sun has his sun and round him obediently wheels,
He joins with his partners a group of superior circuit,
And greater sets follow, making specks of the greatest inside them.
 
There is no stoppage and never can be stoppage,        25
If I, you, and the worlds, and all beneath or upon their surfaces, were this moment reduced back to a pallid float, it would not avail in the long run,
We should surely bring up again where we now stand,
And surely go as much farther, and then farther and farther.
 
A few quadrillions of eras, a few octillions of cubic leagues, do not hazard the span or make it impatient,
They are but parts, anything is but a part.        30
 
See ever so far, there is limitless space outside of that,
Count ever so much, there is limitless time around that.
 
My rendezvous is appointed, it is certain,
The Lord will be there and wait till I come on perfect terms,
The great Camerado, the lover true for whom I pine will be there.        35
 
 
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