In Former Songs

A poem by Walt Whitman

In former songs Pride have I sung, and Love, and passionate, joyful Life,
But here I twine the strands of Patriotism and Death.

And now, Life, Pride, Love, Patriotism and Death,
To you, O freedom, purport of all!
(You that elude me most - refusing to be caught in songs of mine,)
I offer all to you.

'Tis not for nothing, Death,
I sound out you, and words of you, with daring tone - embodying you,
In my new Democratic chants - keeping you for a close,
For last impregnable retreat - a citadel and tower,
For my last stand - my pealing, final cry.

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