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Leaves of Grass

10. Our Old Feuillage
Always our old feuillage!
Always Florida's green peninsula--always the priceless delta of
Louisiana--always the cotton-fields of Alabama and Texas,
Always California's golden hills and hollows, and the silver
mountains of New Mexico--always soft-breath'd Cuba,
Always the vast slope drain'd by the Southern sea, inseparable with
the slopes drain'd by the Eastern and Western seas,
The area the eighty-third year of these States, the three and a half
millions of square miles,
The eighteen thousand miles of sea-coast and bay-coast on the main,
the thirty thousand miles of river navigation,
The seven millions of distinct families and the same number of dwellings--
always these, and more, branching forth into numberless branches,
Always the free range and diversity--always the continent of Democracy;
Always the prairies, pastures, forests, vast cities, travelers,
Kanada, the snows;
Always these compact lands tied at the hips with the belt stringing
the huge oval lakes;
Always the West with strong native persons, the increasing density there,
the habitans, friendly, threatening, ironical, scorning invaders;
All sights, South, North, East--all deeds, promiscuously done at all times,
All characters, movements, growths, a few noticed, myriads unnoticed,
Through Mannahatta's streets I walking, these things gathering,
On interior rivers by night in the glare of pine knots, steamboats
wooding up,
Sunlight by day on the valley of the Susquehanna, and on the valleys
of the Potomac and Rappahannock, and the valleys of the Roanoke
and Delaware,
In their northerly wilds beasts of prey haunting the Adirondacks the
hills, or lapping the Saginaw waters to drink,
In a lonesome inlet a sheldrake lost from the flock, sitting on the
water rocking silently,
In farmers' barns oxen in the stable, their harvest labor done, they
rest standing, they are too tired,
Afar on arctic ice the she-walrus lying drowsily while her cubs play around,
The hawk sailing where men have not yet sail'd, the farthest polar
sea, ripply, crystalline, open, beyond the floes,
White drift spooning ahead where the ship in the tempest dashes,
On solid land what is done in cities as the bells strike midnight together,
In primitive woods the sounds there also sounding, the howl of the
wolf, the scream of the panther, and the hoarse bellow of the elk,
In winter beneath the hard blue ice of Moosehead lake, in summer
visible through the clear waters, the great trout swimming,
In lower latitudes in warmer air in the Carolinas the large black
buzzard floating slowly high beyond the tree tops,
Below, the red cedar festoon'd with tylandria, the pines and
 
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