Subscribe for ad free access & additional features for teachers. Authors: 267, Books: 3,607, Poems & Short Stories: 4,435, Forum Members: 71,154, Forum Posts: 1,238,602, Quizzes: 344

So Long!


To conclude, I announce what comes after me.

I remember I said before my leaves sprang at all,
I would raise my voice jocund and strong with reference to consummations.

When America does what was promis'd,
When through these States walk a hundred millions of superb persons,
When the rest part away for superb persons and contribute to them,
When breeds of the most perfect mothers denote America,
Then to me and mine our due fruition.

I have press'd through in my own right,
I have sung the body and the soul, war and peace have I sung, and
the songs of life and death,
And the songs of birth, and shown that there are many births.

I have offer'd my style to every one, I have journey'd with confident step;
While my pleasure is yet at the full I whisper So long!
And take the young woman's hand and the young man's hand for the last time.

I announce natural persons to arise,
I announce justice triumphant,
I announce uncompromising liberty and equality,
I announce the justification of candor and the justification of pride.

I announce that the identity of these States is a single identity only,
I announce the Union more and more compact, indissoluble,
I announce splendors and majesties to make all the previous politics
of the earth insignificant.

I announce adhesiveness, I say it shall be limitless, unloosen'd,
I say you shall yet find the friend you were looking for.

I announce a man or woman coming, perhaps you are the one, (So long!)
I announce the great individual, fluid as Nature, chaste,
affectionate, compassionate, fully arm'd.

I announce a life that shall be copious, vehement, spiritual, bold,
I announce an end that shall lightly and joyfully meet its translation.

I announce myriads of youths, beautiful, gigantic, sweet-blooded,
I announce a race of splendid and savage old men.

O thicker and faster--(So long!)
O crowding too close upon me,
I foresee too much, it means more than I thought,
It appears to me I am dying.

Hasten throat and sound your last,
Salute me--salute the days once more. Peal the old cry once more.

Screaming electric, the atmosphere using,
At random glancing, each as I notice absorbing,
Swiftly on, but a little while alighting,
Curious envelop'd messages delivering,
Sparkles hot, seed ethereal down in the dirt dropping,
Myself unknowing, my commission obeying, to question it never daring,
To ages and ages yet the growth of the seed leaving,
To troops out of the war arising, they the tasks I have set
promulging,
To women certain whispers of myself bequeathing, their affection
me more clearly explaining,
To young men my problems offering--no dallier I--I the muscle of
their brains trying,
So I pass, a little time vocal, visible, contrary,
Afterward a melodious echo, passionately bent for, (death making
me really undying,)
The best of me then when no longer visible, for toward that I have
been incessantly preparing.

What is there more, that I lag and pause and crouch extended with
unshut mouth?
Is there a single final farewell?
My songs cease, I abandon them,
From behind the screen where I hid I advance personally solely to you.

Camerado, this is no book,
Who touches this touches a man,
(Is it night? are we here together alone?)
It is I you hold and who holds you,
I spring from the pages into your arms--decease calls me forth.

O how your fingers drowse me,
Your breath falls around me like dew, your pulse lulls the tympans
of my ears,
I feel immerged from head to foot,
Delicious, enough.

Enough O deed impromptu and secret,
Enough O gliding present--enough O summ'd-up past.

Dear friend whoever you are take this kiss,
I give it especially to you, do not forget me,
I feel like one who has done work for the day to retire awhile,
I receive now again of my many translations, from my avataras
ascending, while others doubtless await me,
An unknown sphere more real than I dream'd, more direct, darts
awakening rays about me, So long!
Remember my words, I may again return,
I love you, I depart from materials,
I am as one disembodied, triumphant, dead.


Walt Whitman

    Book 1 - Inscriptions

    Book II

    Book III

    Book IV - Children of Adam

    Book V - Calamus

    Book VI

    Book VII

    Book VIII

    Book IX

    Book X

    Book XI

    Book XII

    Book XIII

    Book XIV

    Book XV

    Book XVI

    Book XVII - Birds of Passage

    Book XVIII

    Book XIX - Sea-Drift

    Book XX - By the Roadside

    Book XXI - Drum Taps

    Book XXII - Memories of President Lincoln

    Book - XXIII

    Book XXIV - Autumn Rivulets

    Book XXV

    Book XXVI

    Book XXVII

    Book XXVIII

    Book XXIX

    Book XXX - Whispers of Heavenly Death

    Book XXXI

    Book XXXII - From Noon to Starry Night

    Book XXXIII - Songs of Parting

    Book XXXIV - Sands at Seventy

    Book XXXV - Good-bye My Fancy

    Sorry, no summary available yet.