AS consequent from store of summer rains, Or wayward rivulets in autumn flowing, Or many a herb-lined brookâ€™s reticulations, Or subterranean sea-rills making for the sea, Songs of continued years I sing.
Lifeâ€™s ever-modern rapids first, (soon, soon to blend, With the old streams of death.)
Some threading Ohioâ€™s farm-fields or the woods, Some down Coloradoâ€™s caÃ±ons from sources of perpetual snow, Some half-hid in Oregon, or away southward in Texas, Some in the north finding their way to Erie, Niagara, Ottawa, Some to Atlanticaâ€™s bays, and so to the great salt brine.
In you whoeâ€™er you are my book perusing, In I myself, in all the world, these currents flowing, All, all toward the mystic ocean tending.
Currents for starting a continent new, Overtures sent to the solid out of the liquid, Fusion of ocean and land, tender and pensive waves, (Not safe and peaceful only, waves rousâ€™d and ominous too, Out of the depths the stormâ€™s abysmic waves, who knows whence? Raging over the vast, with many a broken spar and tatterâ€™d sail.)
Or from the sea of Time, collecting vasting all, I bring, A windrow-drift of weeds and shells.
O little shells, so curious-convolute, so limpid-cold and voiceless, Will you not little shells to the tympans of temples held, Murmurs and echoes still call up, eternityâ€™s music faint and far, Wafted inland, sent from Atlanticaâ€™s rim, strains for the soul of the prairies, Whisperâ€™d reverberations, chords for the ear of the West joyously sounding, Your tidings old, yet ever new and untranslatable, Infinitesimals out of my life, and many a life, (For not my life and years alone I giveâ€”all, all I give,) These waifs from the deep, cast high and dry, Washâ€™d on Americaâ€™s shores?