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Long I Thought That Knowledge

Walt Whitman 1819 (West Hills) – 1892 (Camden)

LONG I thought that knowledge alone would suffice me--O if I could
  but obtain knowledge!
  Then my lands engrossed me--Lands of the prairies, Ohio's land, the
  southern savannas, engrossed me--For them I would live--I would
  be their orator;
  Then I met the examples of old and new heroes--I heard of warriors,
  sailors, and all dauntless persons--And it seemed to me that I
  too had it in me to be as dauntless as any--and would be so;
  And then, to enclose all, it came to me to strike up the songs of the
  New World--And then I believed my life must be spent in
  But now take notice, land of the prairies, land of the south
  savannas, Ohio's land,
  Take notice, you Kanuck woods--and you Lake Huron--and all that with
  you roll toward Niagara--and you Niagara also,
  And you, Californian mountains--That you each and all find somebody
  else to be your singer of songs,
  For I can be your singer of songs no longer--One who loves me is
  jealous of me, and withdraws me from all but love,
  With the rest I dispense--I sever from what I thought would suffice
  me, for it does not--it is now empty and tasteless to me,
  I heed knowledge, and the grandeur of The States, and the example of
  heroes, no more, 10
  I am indifferent to my own songs--I will go with him I love,
  It is to be enough for us that we are together--We never separate

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

1:15 min read

Walt Whitman

Walter "Walt" Whitman was an American poet, essayist and journalist. more…

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