Page images

Bore stars illumination of all


! By earthly nature had the effect been wrought Upon the dark materials of the storm Now pacified; on them, and on the coves And mountain-steeps and summits, whereunto The vapors had receded, taking there Their station under a cerulean sky. Oh, 'twas an unimaginable sight! Clouds, mists, streams, watery rocks, and emerald turf, Clouds of all tincture, rocks, and sapphire sky, Confused, commingled, mutually inflamed, Molten together, and composing thus, Each lost in each, that marvelous array Of temple, palace, citadel, and huge, Fantastic pomp of structure without name, In fleecy folds voluminous enwrapped. Right in the midst, where interspace appeared Of open court, an object like a throne, Beneath a shining canopy of state, Stood fixed; and fixed resemblances were seen To implements of ordinary use, But vast in size, in substance glorified; Such as by Hebrew prophets were beheld In vision - forms uncouth of mightiest power, For admiration and mysterious awe. Below me was the earth; this little vale Lay low beneath my feet; 'twas visible I saw not, but I felt that it was there.



WALT WHITMAN was born at West Hills, New York, May 31, 1819. In early youth he taught in public schools. At the age of twenty-seven he became editor of the Brooklyn Eagle. The restraints of such a duty soon grew irksome, and he turned his attention to the writing of verse.

His poetry is peculiar in form and highly original in thought. Among reputable critics there is great difference of opinion regarding it. It has been claimed that Whitman is one of the two great poets of American birth. His work is esteemed in England not less highly

than in our own country ; an edition of his poems was published in England as early as 1868. He wrote much in prose also, and a complete collection of these writings was published in the year of his death.

Mr. Whitman died at Camden, New Jersey, March 27, 1892.


O you youths, Western youths, So impatient, full of action, full of manly pride and friend

ship, Plain I see you, Western youths, see you tramping with the foremost,

Pioneers ! O pioneers !

Have the elder races halted ? Do they droop and end their lesson, wearied over there

beyond the seas? We take up the task eternal, and the burden and the lesson,

Pioneers ! O pioneers !

All the past we leave behind, We debouch upon a newer mightier world, varied world, Fresh and strong the world we seize, world of labor and the march,

Pioneers! O pioneers !

We detachments steady throwing, Down the edges, through the passes, up the mountains

steep, Conquering, holding, daring, venturing as we go the unknown ways,

Pioneers! O pioneers !

We primeval forests felling, We the rivers stemming, vexing we and piercing deep

the mines within, We the surface broad surveying, we the virgin soil upheaving,

Pioneers! O pioneers !

All the pulses of the world, Falling in they beat for us, with the Western movement

beat, Holding single or together, steady moving to the front, all for us,

Pioneers ! O pioneers !

These are of us, they are with us, All for primal needed work, while the followers there in

embryo wait behind, We to-day's procession heading, we the route for travel clearing,

Pioneers ! O pioneers !


you daughters of the West ! O you young and elder daughters! O you mothers and

you wives !

Never must you be divided, in our ranks you move united,

Pioneers! O pioneers !

Minstrels latent on the prairies ! (Shrouded bards of other lands, you may rest, you have

done your work,) Soon I hear you coming warbling, soon you rise and tramp amid us,

Pioneers ! O pioneers !

Not for delectations sweet, Not the cushion and the slipper, not the peaceful and the

studious, Not the riches safe and palling, not for us the tame enjoyment,

Pioneers ! O pioneers !

Has the night descended ? Was the road of late so toilsome? did we stop discouraged

on our way? Yet a passing hour I yield you in your tracks to pause oblivious,

Pioneers! O pioneers!

Till with sound of trumpet, Far, far off the day break call — hark ! how loud and clear

I hear it wind, Swift! to the head of the army ! — swift! spring to your places, Pioneers! O pioneers !




I had a father, a merchant, who was one of the first in rank among the people and the merchants, and who possessed abundant wealth and ample fortune. He died when I was a young child, leaving to me wealth and buildings and fields; and when I grew up I put my hand upon the whole of the property, ate well and drank well, associated with the young men, wore handsome apparel, and passed my life with my friends and companions, feeling confident that this course would continue and profit me; and I ceased not to live in this manner for a length of time. I then returned to my reason, and recovered from my heedlessness, and found that my wealth had passed away, and my condition had changed, and all the money that I had possessed had gone.

Upon this, I resolved, and arose and bought for myself goods and commodities and merchandise, with such other things as were required for travel; and my mind had consented to my performing a sea voyage. So I entered in a ship, and it descended to the city of Balsora, with a company of merchants, and we traversed the sea for many days and nights. We had passed by island after island, and from sea to sea, and from land to land ; and in every place by which we passed we sold and bought, and exchanged merchandise. We continued our voyage until we

« PreviousContinue »