Walt Whitman: Poems

Songs of Parting: Poets To Come


Poets to come!

Not to-day is to justify me, and Democracy, and what we are for;

But you, a new brood, native, athletic, continental, greater than before


You must justify me.


I but write one or two indicative words for the future,

I but advance a moment, only to wheel and hurry back in the darkness.

I am a man who, sauntering along, without fully stopping, turns a casual

look upon you, and then averts his face,

Leaving it to you to prove and define it,

Expecting the main things from you.