On, on the same, ye jocund twain!
My life and recitative, containing birth, youth, mid-age years,
Fitful as motley-tongues of flame, inseparably twined and merged in one — combining all,
My single soul — aims, confirmations, failures, joys — Nor single soul alone,
I chant my nation’s crucial stage, (America’s, haply humanity’s) — the trial great, the
A strange eclaircissement of all the masses past, the eastern world, the ancient, medieval,
Here, here from wanderings, strayings, lessons, wars, defeats — here at the west a voice
triumphant — justifying all,
A gladsome pealing cry — a song for once of utmost pride and satisfaction;
I chant from it the common bulk, the general average horde, (the best sooner than the
worst) — And now I chant old age,
(My verses, written first for forenoon life, and for the summer’s, autumn’s spread,
I pass to snow-white hairs the same, and give to pulses winter-cool’d the same;)
As here in careless trill, I and my recitatives, with faith and love,
wafting to other work, to unknown songs, conditions,
On, on ye jocund twain! continue on the same!