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In Former Songs
by Walt Whitman


IN former songs Pride have I sung, and Love, and passionate, joyful
Life,
But here I twine the strands of Patriotism and Death.

And now, Life, Pride, Love, Patriotism and Death,
To you, O FREEDOM, purport of all!
(You that elude me most--refusing to be caught in songs of mine,)
I offer all to you.


'Tis not for nothing, Death,
I sound out you, and words of you, with daring tone--embodying you,
In my new Democratic chants--keeping you for a close,
For last impregnable retreat--a citadel and tower, 10
For my last stand--my pealing, final cry.