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Walt Whitman - Unnamed Lands.

NATIONS ten thousand years before These States, and many times ten thousand years before
    These
	States; 
Garner’d clusters of ages, that men and women like us grew up and travel’d their
	course, and pass’d on; 
What vast-built cities—what orderly republics—what pastoral tribes and nomads; 
What histories, rulers, heroes, perhaps transcending all others; 
What laws, customs, wealth, arts, traditions;
What sort of marriage—what costumes—what physiology and phrenology; 
What of liberty and slavery among them—what they thought of death and the soul; 
Who were witty and wise—who beautiful and poetic—who brutish and
    undevelop’d; 
Not a mark, not a record remains—And yet all remains. 
  
O I know that those men and women were not for nothing, any more than we are for nothing;
I know that they belong to the scheme of the world every bit as much as we now belong to
    it,
	and as all will henceforth belong to it. 
  
Afar they stand—yet near to me they stand, 
Some with oval countenances, learn’d and calm, 
Some naked and savage—Some like huge collections of insects, 
Some in tents—herdsmen, patriarchs, tribes, horsemen,
Some prowling through woods—Some living peaceably on farms, laboring, reaping,
    filling
	barns, 
Some traversing paved avenues, amid temples, palaces, factories, libraries, shows, courts,
	theatres, wonderful monuments. 
  
Are those billions of men really gone? 
Are those women of the old experience of the earth gone? 
Do their lives, cities, arts, rest only with us?
Did they achieve nothing for good, for themselves? 
  
I believe of all those billions of men and women that fill’d the unnamed lands, every
    one
	exists this hour, here or elsewhere, invisible to us, in exact proportion to what he or
    she
	grew from in life, and out of what he or she did, felt, became, loved, sinn’d, in
    life. 
  
I believe that was not the end of those nations, or any person of them, any more than this
	shall be the end of my nation, or of me; 
Of their languages, governments, marriage, literature, products, games, wars, manners,
    crimes,
	prisons, slaves, heroes, poets, I suspect their results curiously await in the yet unseen
	world—counterparts of what accrued to them in the seen world. 
I suspect I shall meet them there,
I suspect I shall there find each old particular of those unnamed lands.

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Added: Feb 7 2004 | Viewed: 12380 times | Comments and analysis of Unnamed Lands. by Walt Whitman Comments (8)

Unnamed Lands. - Comments and Information

Poet: Walt Whitman
Poem: 2. Unnamed Lands.
Volume: Leaves of Grass
- 11. Leaves of Grass
Year: Published/Written in 1900
Poem of the Day: Jan 3 2008

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