Verse > Walt Whitman > Leaves of Grass

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

328. Or from that Sea of Time


OR, from that Sea of Time,
Spray, blown by the wind—a double winrow-drift of weeds and shells; 
(O little shells, so curious-convolute! so limpid-cold and voiceless! 
Yet will you not, to the tympans of temples held, 
Murmurs and echoes still bring up—Eternity’s music, faint and far,         5
Wafted inland, sent from Atlantica’s rim—strains for the Soul of the Prairies, 
Whisper’d reverberations—chords for the ear of the West, joyously sounding 
Your tidings old, yet ever new and untranslatable;) 
Infinitessimals out of my life, and many a life, 
(For not my life and years alone I give—all, all I give;)  10
These thoughts and Songs—waifs from the deep—here, cast high and dry, 
Wash’d on America’s shores. 

Currents of starting a Continent new,
Overtures sent to the solid out of the liquid, 
Fusion of ocean and land—tender and pensive waves,  15
(Not safe and peaceful only—waves rous’d and ominous too. 
Out of the depths, the storm’s abysms—Who knows whence? Death’s waves, 
Raging over the vast, with many a broken spar and tatter’d sail.) 


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