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Song For All Seas, All Ships Analysis

Author: Poetry of Walt Whitman Type: Poetry Views: 339

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TO-DAY a rude brief recitative,

Of ships sailing the Seas, each with its special flag or ship-signal;

Of unnamed heroes in the ships--Of waves spreading and spreading, far

as the eye can reach;

Of dashing spray, and the winds piping and blowing;

And out of these a chant, for the sailors of all nations,

Fitful, like a surge.

Of Sea-Captains young or old, and the Mates--and of all intrepid


Of the few, very choice, taciturn, whom fate can never surprise, nor

death dismay,

Pick'd sparingly, without noise, by thee, old Ocean--chosen by


Thou Sea, that pickest and cullest the race, in Time, and unitest


Suckled by thee, old husky Nurse--embodying thee!

Indomitable, untamed as thee.

(Ever the heroes, on water or on land, by ones or twos appearing,

Ever the stock preserv'd, and never lost, though rare--enough for

seed preserv'd.)

Flaunt out O Sea, your separate flags of nations!

Flaunt out, visible as ever, the various ship-signals!

But do you reserve especially for yourself, and for the soul of man,

one flag above all the rest,

A spiritual woven Signal, for all nations, emblem of man elate above


Token of all brave captains, and all intrepid sailors and mates,

And all that went down doing their duty;

Reminiscent of them--twined from all intrepid captains, young or old;

A pennant universal, subtly waving, all time, o'er all brave sailors,

All seas, all ships.


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