Years of the unperformed! your horizon rises--I see it part away for more
I see not America only--I see not only Liberty's nation but other nations
I see tremendous entrances and exits--I see new combinations--I see the
solidarity of races;
I see that force advancing with irresistible power on the world's stage;
Have the old forces played their parts? are the acts suitable to them
I see Freedom, completely armed, and victorious, and very haughty, with Law
by her side, both issuing forth against the idea of caste;
--What historic denouements are these we so rapidly approach?
I see men marching and countermarching by swift millions!
I see the frontiers and boundaries of the old aristocracies broken;
I see the landmarks of European kings removed;
I see this day the People beginning their landmarks, all others give way;
Never were such sharp questions asked as this day;
Never was average man, his soul, more energetic, more like a God.
Lo! how he urges and urges, leaving the masses no rest;
His daring foot is on land and sea everywhere--he colonises the Pacific,
With the steam-ship, the electric telegraph, the newspaper, the wholesale
engines of war,
With these, and the world-spreading factories, he interlinks all geography,
--What whispers are these, O lands, running ahead of you, passing under the
Are all nations communing? is there going to be but one heart to the globe?
Is humanity forming en masse?--for lo! tyrants tremble, crowns grow dim;
The earth, restive, confronts a new era, perhaps a general divine war;
No one knows what will happen next--such portents fill the days and nights.
Years prophetical! the space ahead as I walk, as I vainly try to pierce it,
is full of phantoms;
Unborn deeds, things soon to be, project their shapes around me;
This incredible rush and heat--this strange ecstatic fever of dreams, O
Your dreams, O years, how they penetrate through me! (I know not whether I
sleep or wake!)
The performed America and Europe grow dim, retiring in shadow behind me,
The unperformed, more gigantic than ever, advance, advance upon me.