RISE, O days, from your fathomless deeps, till you loftier, fiercer sweep!
Long for my soul, hungering gymnastic, I devourd what the earth gave me;
Long I roamd the woods of the northlong I watchd Niagara pouring;
I traveld the prairies over, and slept on their breastI crossd the
crossd the plateaus;
I ascended the towering rocks along the Pacific, I saild out to sea;
I saild through the storm, I was refreshd by the storm;
I watchd with joy the threatening maws of the waves;
I markd the white combs where they careerd so high, curling over;
I heard the wind piping, I saw the black clouds;
Saw from below what arose and mounted, (O superb! O wild as my heart, and powerful!)
Heard the continuous thunder, as it bellowd after the lightning;
Noted the slender and jagged threads of lightning, as sudden and fast amid the din they
other across the sky;
These, and such as these, I, elate, sawsaw with wonder, yet pensive and
All the menacing might of the globe uprisen around me;
Yet there with my soul I fedI fed content, supercilious.
Twas well, O soul! twas a good preparation you gave me!
Now we advance our latent and ampler hunger to fill;
Now we go forth to receive what the earth and the sea never gave us;
Not through the mighty woods we go, but through the mightier cities;
Something for us is pouring now, more than Niagara pouring;
Torrents of men, (sources and rills of the Northwest, are you indeed inexhaustible?)
What, to pavements and homesteads herewhat were those storms of the mountains and
What, to passions I witness around me to-day? Was the sea risen?
Was the wind piping the pipe of death under the black clouds?
Lo! from deeps more unfathomable, something more deadly and savage;
Manhattan, rising, advancing with menacing frontCincinnati, Chicago, unchaind;
What was that swell I saw on the ocean? behold what comes here!
How it climbs with daring feet and hands! how it dashes!
How the true thunder bellows after the lightning! how bright the flashes of lightning!
How DEMOCRACY, with desperate vengeful port strides on, shown through the dark by those
(Yet a mournful wail and low sob I fancied I heard through the dark,
In a lull of the deafening confusion.)
Thunder on! stride on, Democracy! strike with vengeful stroke!
And do you rise higher than ever yet, O days, O cities!
Crash heavier, heavier yet, O storms! you have done me good;
My soul, prepared in the mountains, absorbs your immortal strong nutriment;
Long had I walkd my cities, my country roads, through farms, only
One doubt, nauseous, undulating like a snake, crawld on the ground before me,
Continually preceding my steps, turning upon me oft, ironically hissing low;
The cities I loved so well, I abandond and leftI sped to the certainties
Hungering, hungering, hungering, for primal energies, and Natures dauntlessness,
I refreshd myself with it only, I could relish it only;
I waited the bursting forth of the pent fireon the water and air I waited long;
But now I no longer waitI am fully satisfiedI am glutted;
I have witnessd the true lightningI have witnessd my cities electric;
I have lived to behold man burst forth, and warlike America rise;
Hence I will seek no more the food of the northern solitary wilds,
No more on the mountains roam, or sail the stormy sea.