Washington's Monument, February, 1885

Walt Whitman - 1819-1892
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.

More by Walt Whitman

Sometimes with One I Love

Sometimes with one I love I fill myself with rage for fear I effuse
   unreturn'd love,
But now I think there is no unreturn'd love, the pay is certain
   one way or another,
(I loved a certain person ardently and my love was not return'd,
Yet out of that I have written these songs.)

A Noiseless Patient Spider

A noiseless patient spider,
I mark'd where on a little promontory it stood isolated,
Mark'd how to explore the vacant vast surrounding,
It launch'd forth filament, filament, filament, out of itself,
Ever unreeling them, ever tirelessly speeding them.

And you O my soul where you stand,
Surrounded, detached, in measureless oceans of space,
Ceaselessly musing, venturing, throwing, seeking the spheres to connect them,
Till the bridge you will need be form'd, till the ductile anchor hold,
Till the gossamer thread you fling catch somewhere, O my soul.

America

Centre of equal daughters, equal sons, 
All, all alike endear'd, grown, ungrown, young or old,
Strong, ample, fair, enduring, capable, rich, 
Perennial with the Earth, with Freedom, Law and Love,
A grand, sane, towering, seated Mother,
Chair'd in the adamant of Time.