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Not the Pilot

by Walt Whitman, 1892

Not the pilot has charged himself to bring his ship into port, though beaten back and many times baffled;
Not the pathfinder penetrating inland weary and long,
By deserts parch'd, snows chill'd, rivers wet, perseveres till he reaches his destination,
More than I have charged myself, heeded or unheeded, to compose march for these States,
For a battle-call, rousing to arms if need be, years, centuries hence.

Published in Leaves of Grass

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