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Come up here, dear little child,
To fly in the clouds and winds with me, and play with the measureless light.
Father what is that in the sky beckoning to me with long finger?
Nothing my babe you see in the sky,
And nothing at all to you it says but look you my babe,
And see you the vehicles preparing to crawl along the streets with goods;
These, ah these, how valued and toil'd for these!
Fresh and rosy red the sun is mounting high,
On floats the sea in distant blue careering through its channels,
The great steady wind from west or west-by-south,
Floating so buoyant with milk-white foam on the waters.
But I am not the sea nor the red sun,
I am not the wind with girlish laughter,
Not the immense wind which strengthens, not the wind which
Not the spirit that ever lashes its own body to terror and death,
O father it is alive — it is full of people it has children,
I hear it it talks to me -O it is wonderful!
Cease, cease, my foolish babe,
What you are saying is sorrowful to me, much it displeases me; Behold with the rest again I say, behold not banners and pennants
But the well-prepared pavements behold, and mark the solid-wall'd houses.
Banner and Pennant.
Speak to the child O bard out of Manhattan,
To our children all, or north or south of Manhattan,
For what are we, mere strips of cloth profiting nothing,
and yet we
I hear and see not strips of cloth alone,
I hear the tramp of armies, I hear the challenging sentry,
I hear the jubilant shouts of millions of men, I hear Liberty!
I hear the drums beat and the trumpets blowing,
I myself move abroad swift-rising flying then,
I use the wings of the land-bird and use the wings of the sea-bird, and look down as from a height,
I do not deny the precious results of peace, I see populous cities with wealth incalculable,
I see numberless farms, I see the farmers working in their fields or barns,
I see mechanics working, I see buildings everywhere founded, going up, or finish'd,
I see trains of cars swiftly speeding along railroad tracks drawn by the locomotives,
I see the stores, depots, of Boston, Baltimore, Charleston, New Orleans,
I see far in the West the immense area of grain, I dwell awhile hovering,
I pass to the lumber forests of the North, and again to the Southern plantation, and again to California;
Sweeping the whole I see the countless profit, the busy gatherings,
See the Identity formed out of thirty-eight spacious and haughty States, (and many more to come,)
See forts on the shores of harbors, see ships sailing in and out; Then over all, (aye! aye!) my little and lengthen'd pennant shaped like a sword,
Runs swiftly up indicating war and defiance and now the halyards have rais'd it,
Side of my banner broad and blue, side of my starry banner,
Banner and Pennant.
Yet louder, higher, stronger, bard! yet farther, wider cleave!
Not now are we any one of these spacious and haughty States, (nor any five, nor ten,)
Nor market nor depot we, nor money-bank in the city,
But these and all, and the brown and spreading land, and the mines below, are ours,
And the shores of the sea are ours, and the rivers great and small, And the fields they moisten, and the crops and the fruits are ours, Bays and channels and ships sailing in and out are ours-while
we over all,
Over the area spread below, the three or four millions of square miles, the capitals,
The forty millions of people,-O bard! in life and death supreme,
This song to the soul of one poor little child.
O my father I like not the houses,
They will never to me be any thing, nor do I like money, But to mount up there I would like, O father dear, that banner I like,
That pennant I would be and must be.
Child of mine you fill me with anguish,
To be that pennant would be too fearful,
Little you know what it is this day, and after this day, forever,
It is to gain nothing, but risk and defy every thing,
- and O, such wars! — what
have you to do with them?
With passions of demons, slaughter, premature death?
Demons and death then I sing,
Put in all, aye all will I, sword-shaped pennant for war,
And a pleasure new and ecstatic, and the prattled yearning of
Blent with the sounds of the peaceful land and the liquid wash of the sea,
And the black ships fighting on the sea envelop'd in smoke,
And the icy cool of the far, far north, with rustling cedars and pines,
And the whirr of drums and the sound of soldiers marching, and the hot sun shining south,
And the beach-waves combing over the beach on my Eastern shore, and my Western shore the same,
And all between those shores, and my ever running Mississippi with bends and chutes,
And my Illinois fields, and my Kansas fields,
and my fields of
The Continent, devoting the whole identity without reserving an
Pour in! whelm that which asks, which sings, with all and the yield of all,
Fusing and holding, claiming, devouring the whole,
No more with tender lip, nor musical labial sound,
But out of the night emerging for good, our voice persuasive no
Croaking like crows here in the wind.
My limbs, my veins dilate, my theme is clear at last,
Banner so broad advancing out of the night, I sing you haughty
I burst through where I waited long, too long, deafen'd and
My hearing and tongue are come to me, (a little child taught me,) I hear from above O pennant of war your ironical call and demand, Insensate! insensate! (yet I at any rate chant you,) O banner! Not houses of peace indeed are you, nor any nor all their prosperity, (if need be, you shall again have every one of those houses to destroy them,
You thought not to destroy those valuable houses, standing fast, full of comfort, built with money,
May they stand fast, then? not an hour except you above them and all stand fast ;)
O banner, not money so precious are you, not farm produce you, nor the material good nutriment,
Nor excellent stores, nor landed on wharves from the ships,
Not the superb ships with sail-power or steam-power, fetching and carrying cargoes,
Nor machinery, vehicles, trade, nor revenues
forth I see you,
but you as henceRunning up out of the night, bringing your cluster of stars, (everenlarging stars,)
Divider of daybreak you, cutting the air, touch'd by the sun, measuring the sky,
(Passionately seen and yearn'd for by one poor little child,
O you up there! O pennant! where you undulate like a snake
Out of reach, an idea only, yet furiously fought for, risking bloody death, loved by me,
O you banner leading the day with stars brought from the night! Valueless, object of eyes, over all and demanding all (absolute owner of all) - O banner and pennant!
I too leave the rest-great as it is, it is nothing— houses,
I see but you, O warlike pennant! O banner so broad, with stripes,
Flapping up there in the wind.
RISE O DAYS FROM YOUR FATHOMLESS DEEPS.
RISE O days from your fathomless deeps, till you loftier, fiercer
Long for my soul hungering gymnastic I devour'd what the earth
Long I roam'd the woods of the north, long I watch'd Niagara
I travel'd the prairies over and slept on their breast, I cross'd the
I ascended the towering rocks along the Pacific, I sail'd out to
I sail'd through the storm, I was refresh'd by the storm,
I watch'd with joy the threatening maws of the waves,
I mark'd the white combs where they career'd so high, curling
I heard the wind piping, I saw the black clouds,