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Poem by Walt Whitman

Leaves of Grass. 34. Sands at Seventy. 46. Twenty Years

Down on the ancient wharf, the sand, I sit, with a new-comer chatting:
He shipp'd as green-hand boy, and sail'd away, (took some sudden,
      vehement notion;)
Since, twenty years and more have circled round and round,
While he the globe was circling round and round, and now returns:
How changed the placeall the old land-marks gonethe parents dead;
(Yes, he comes back to lay in port for goodto settlehas a
      well-fill'd purseno spot will do but this;)
The little boat that scull'd him from the sloop, now held in leash I see,
I hear the slapping waves, the restless keel, the rocking in the sand,
I see the sailor kit, the canvas bag, the great box bound with brass,
I scan the face all berry-brown and beardedthe stout-strong frame,
Dress'd in its russet suit of good Scotch cloth:
(Then what the told-out story of those twenty years? What of the future?)

Walt Whitman

Walt Whitman's other poems:
  1. Leaves of Grass. 34. Sands at Seventy. Fancies at Navesink. 6. Proudly the Flood Comes In
  2. Leaves of Grass. 34. Sands at Seventy. 11. The Wallabout Martyrs
  3. Leaves of Grass. 30. Whispers of Heavenly Death. 5. Yet, Yet, Ye Downcast Hours
  4. Leaves of Grass. 34. Sands at Seventy. 29. The Dead Tenor
  5. Leaves of Grass. 34. Sands at Seventy. 22. Death of General Grant

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