AS consequent from store of summer rains,
Or wayward rivulets in autumn flowing,
Or many a herb-lined brooks reticulations,
Or subterranean sea-rills making for the sea,
Songs of continued years I sing.
Lifes ever-modern rapids first, (soon, soon to blend,
With the old streams of death.)
Some threading Ohios farm-fields or the woods,
Some down Colorados cañons from sources of perpetual snow,
Some half-hid in Oregon, or away southward in Texas,
Some in the north finding their way to Erie, Niagara, Ottawa,
Some to Atlanticas bays, and so to the great salt brine.
In you whoeer you are my book perusing,
In I myself, in all the world, these currents flowing,
All, all toward the mystic ocean tending.
Currents for starting a continent new,
Overtures sent to the solid out of the liquid,
Fusion of ocean and land, tender and pensive waves,
(Not safe and peaceful only, waves rousd and ominous too,
Out of the depths the storms abysmic waves, who knows whence?
Raging over the vast, with many a broken spar and tatterd sail.)
Or from the sea of Time, collecting vasting all, I bring,
A windrow-drift of weeds and shells.
O little shells, so curious-convolute, so limpid-cold and voiceless,
Will you not little shells to the tympans of temples held,
Murmurs and echoes still call up, eternitys music faint and far,
Wafted inland, sent from Atlanticas rim, strains for the soul of the prairies,
Whisperd reverberations, chords for the ear of the West joyously sounding,
Your tidings old, yet ever new and untranslatable,
Infinitesimals out of my life, and many a life,
(For not my life and years alone I giveall, all I give,)
These waifs from the deep, cast high and dry,
Washd on Americas shores?