Leaves of Grass

Contents:
Author: Walt Whitman

17

O I see flashing that this America is only you and me,
Its power, weapons, testimony, are you and me,
Its crimes, lies, thefts, defections, are you and me,
Its Congress is you and me, the officers, capitols, armies, ships,
are you and me,
Its endless gestations of new States are you and me,
The war, (that war so bloody and grim, the war I will henceforth
forget), was you and me,
Natural and artificial are you and me,
Freedom, language, poems, employments, are you and me,
Past, present, future, are you and me.

I dare not shirk any part of myself,
Not any part of America good or bad,
Not to build for that which builds for mankind,
Not to balance ranks, complexions, creeds, and the sexes,
Not to justify science nor the march of equality,
Nor to feed the arrogant blood of the brawn belov’d of time.

I am for those that have never been master’d,
For men and women whose tempers have never been master’d,
For those whom laws, theories, conventions, can never master.

I am for those who walk abreast with the whole earth,
Who inaugurate one to inaugurate all.

I will not be outfaced by irrational things,
I will penetrate what it is in them that is sarcastic upon me,
I will make cities and civilizations defer to me,
This is what I have learnt from America—it is the amount, and it I
teach again.

(Democracy, while weapons were everywhere aim’d at your breast,
I saw you serenely give birth to immortal children, saw in dreams
your dilating form,
Saw you with spreading mantle covering the world.)

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American Romanticism

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Chicago: Walt Whitman, "17," Leaves of Grass, ed. Keil, Heinrich, 1822-1894 and trans. Seaton, R. C. in Leaves of Grass (New York: George E. Wood, ""Death-bed"" edition, 1892), Original Sources, accessed July 17, 2024, http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=3X7UBWTRA17L7QL.

MLA: Whitman, Walt. "17." Leaves of Grass, edited by Keil, Heinrich, 1822-1894, and translated by Seaton, R. C., in Leaves of Grass, New York, George E. Wood, ""Death-bed"" edition, 1892, Original Sources. 17 Jul. 2024. http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=3X7UBWTRA17L7QL.

Harvard: Whitman, W, '17' in Leaves of Grass, ed. and trans. . cited in ""Death-bed"" edition, 1892, Leaves of Grass, George E. Wood, New York. Original Sources, retrieved 17 July 2024, from http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=3X7UBWTRA17L7QL.