As The Time Draws Nigh

A poem by Walt Whitman

As the time draws nigh, glooming, a cloud,
A dread beyond, of I know not what, darkens me.

I shall go forth,
I shall traverse The States awhile--but I cannot tell whither or how long;
Perhaps soon, some day or night while I am singing, my voice will suddenly cease.

O book, O chants! must all then amount to but this?
Must we barely arrive at this beginning of us?... And yet it is enough, O soul!
O soul! we have positively appear'd--that is enough.

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