Published Works

Books by Whitman

contents   |   previous   |   next

Page 29c
View Page 29c

SONG AT SUNSET.


1  SPLENDOR of ended day, floating and filling me!
Hour prophetic—hour resuming the past!
Inflating my throat—you, divine average!
You, Earth and Life, till the last ray gleams, I sing.

2  Open mouth of my Soul, uttering gladness,
Eyes of my Soul, seeing perfection,
Natural life of me, faithfully praising things;
Corroborating forever the triumph of things.

3  Illustrious every one!
Illustrious what we name space—sphere of unnum-
         ber'd spirits;
Illustrious the mystery of motion, in all beings, even
         the tiniest insect;
Illustrious the attribute of speech—the senses—the
         body;
Illustrious the passing light! Illustrious the pale
         reflection on the new moon in the western sky!
Illustrious whatever I see, or hear, or touch, to the
         last.

4  Good in all,
In the satisfaction and aplomb of animals,
In the annual return of the seasons,
In the hilarity of youth,
In the strength and flush of manhood,
In the grandeur and exquisiteness of old age,
In the superb vistas of Death.

5  Wonderful to depart;
Wonderful to be here!
The heart, to jet the all-alike and innocent blood,
To breathe the air, how delicious!
To speak! to walk! to seize something by the hand!

Page 30c
View Page 30c
To prepare for sleep, for bed—to look on my rose-
         color'd flesh,
To be conscious of my body, so happy, so large,
To be this incredible God I am,
To have gone forth among other Gods—those men
         and women I love.

6  Wonderful how I celebrate you and myself!
How my thoughts play subtly at the spectacles
         around!
How the clouds pass silently overhead!
How the earth darts on and on! and how the sun,
         moon, stars, dart on and on!
How the water sports and sings! (Surely it is alive!)
How the trees rise and stand up—with strong trunks
         —with branches and leaves!
(Surely there is something more in each of the trees—
         some living Soul.)

7  O amazement of things! even the least particle!
O spirituality of things!
O strain musical, flowing through ages and continents
         —now reaching me and America!
I take your strong chords—I intersperse them, and
         cheerfully pass them forward.

8  I too carol the sun, usher'd, or at noon, or, as now,
         setting,
I too throb to the brain and beauty of the earth, and
         of all the growths of the earth,
I too have felt the resistless call of myself.

9  As I sail'd down the Mississippi,
As I wander'd over the prairies,
As I have lived—As I have look'd through my win-
         dows, my eyes,
As I went forth in the morning—As I beheld the light
         breaking in the east;

Page 31c
View Page 31c
As I bathed on the beach of the Eastern Sea, and
         again on the beach of the Western Sea;
As I roam'd the streets of inland Chicago—whatever
         streets I have roam'd;
Wherever I have been, I have charged myself with
         contentment and triumph.

10  I sing the Equalities;
I sing the endless finalés of things;
I say Nature continues—Glory continues;
I praise with electric voice;
For I do not see one imperfection in the universe;
And I do not see one cause or result lamentable at last
         in the universe.

11  O setting sun! though the time has come,
I still warble under you, unmitigated adoration.
contents   |   previous   |   next

Comments?

Published Works | In Whitman's Hand | Life & Letters | Commentary | Resources | Pictures & Sound

Support the Archive | About the Archive

Distributed under a Creative Commons License. Ed Folsom & Kenneth M. Price, editors.