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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 place--all the old land-marks gone--the parents dead;
(Yes, he comes back to lay in port for good--to settle--has a
well-fill'd purse--no 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 bearded--the 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

    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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