Washington’s Monument (Poem by Walter Whitman)

Suggested Poem

Washington’s Monument
(February, 1885)
By Walter Whitman


Ah, not this marble, dead and cold:
Far from its base and shaft expanding — the round zones circling, comprehending,
Thou, Washington, art all the world’s, the continents’ entire — not yours alone, America,
Europe’s as well, in every part, castle of lord or laborer’s cot,
Or frozen North, or sultry South — the African’s — the Arab’s in his tent,
Old Asia’s there with venerable smile, seated amid her ruins;
(Greets the antique the hero new? ’tis but the same — the heir legitimate, continued ever,
The indomitable heart and arm — proofs of the never-broken line,
Courage, alertness, patience, faith, the same — e’en in defeat defeated not, the same:)
Wherever sails a ship, or house is built on land, or day or night,
Through teeming cities’ streets, indoors or out, factories or farms,
Now, or to come, or past — where patriot wills existed or exist,
Wherever Freedom, pois’d by Toleration, sway’d by Law,
Stands or is rising thy true monument.

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