by Walt Whitman (1819 - 1892)

On the beach at night alone
Language: English 
On the beach at night alone,
As the old mother sways her to and fro singing her husky song,
As I watch the bright stars shining, I think a thought of the clef
     of the universes and of the future.

A vast similitude interlocks all,
[All spheres, grown, ungrown, small, large, suns, moons, planets,]1
All distances of place however wide,
All distances of time, [all inanimate forms,]1
All souls, all living bodies though they be ever so different, [or in
     different worlds,
All gaseous, watery, vegetable, mineral processes, the fishes, the brutes,
All nations, colors, barbarisms, civilizations, languages,
All identities that have existed or may exist on this globe, or any globe,]1
All lives and deaths, all of the past, present, future,
This vast similitude spans them, and always has spann'd,
And shall forever span them and compactly hold and enclose them.

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1 omitted by Vaughan Williams


Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)

Researcher for this text: Ahmed E. Ismail

This text was added to the website: 2004-07-06
Line count: 16
Word count: 142