Not The Pilot

A poem by Walt Whitman

Not the pilot has charged himself to bring his ship into port, though beaten back, and many times baffled;
Not the path-finder, penetrating inland, weary and long,
By deserts parch'd, snows-chill'd, rivers wet, perseveres till he reaches his destination,
More than I have charged myself, heeded or unheeded, to compose a free march for These States,
To be exhilarating music to them - a battle-call, rousing to arms, if need be - years, centuries hence.

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