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Thanks in Old Age

Thanks in old age--thanks ere I go,
For health, the midday sun, the impalpable air--for life, mere life,
For precious ever-lingering memories, (of you my mother dear--you,
father--you, brothers, sisters, friends,)
For all my days--not those of peace alone--the days of war the same,
For gentle words, caresses, gifts from foreign lands,
For shelter, wine and meat--for sweet appreciation,
(You distant, dim unknown--or young or old--countless, unspecified,
readers belov'd,
We never met, and neer shall meet--and yet our souls embrace, long,
close and long;)
For beings, groups, love, deeds, words, books--for colors, forms,
For all the brave strong men--devoted, hardy men--who've forward
sprung in freedom's help, all years, all lands
For braver, stronger, more devoted men--(a special laurel ere I go,
to life's war's chosen ones,
The cannoneers of song and thought--the great artillerists--the
foremost leaders, captains of the soul:)
As soldier from an ended war return'd--As traveler out of myriads,
to the long procession retrospective,
Thanks--joyful thanks!--a soldier's, traveler's thanks.

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

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