(For the war, the struggle of blood finish'd, wherein, O terrific Ideal!
Against vast odds, having gloriously won,
Now thou stridest on - yet perhaps in time toward denser wars,
Perhaps to engage in time in still more dreadful contests, dangers,
Longer campaigns and crises, labors beyond all others;
- As I walk solitary, unattended,
Around me I hear that eclat of the world - politics, produce,
The announcements of recognized things - science,
The approved growth of cities, and the spread of inventions.
I see the ships, (they will last a few years,)
The vast factories, with their foremen and workmen,
And here the indorsement of all, and do not object to it.
But I too announce solid things;
Science, ships, politics, cities, factories, are not nothing - I watch them,
Like a grand procession, to music of distant bugles, pouring, triumphantly moving - and grander heaving in sight;
They stand for realities - all is as it should be.
Then my realities;
What else is so real as mine?
Libertad, and the divine average - Freedom to every slave on the face of the earth,
The rapt promises and luminé of seers - the spiritual world - these centuries lasting songs,
And our visions, the visions of poets, the most solid announcements of any.
For we support all, fuse all,
After the rest is done and gone, we remain;
There is no final reliance but upon us;
Democracy rests finally upon us (I, my brethren, begin it,)
And our visions sweep through eternity.
- As I Walk These Broad, Majestic Days by Walt Whitman
Thanks to Sara Lewis Holmes for bringing this poem to my attention by gifting me with a shirt bearing the "visions of poets" quote.
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