Walt Whitman

Here you will find the Long Poem Song Of The Broad-Axe of poet Walt Whitman

Song Of The Broad-Axe

WEAPON, shapely, naked, wan!
 Head from the mother's bowels drawn!
 Wooded flesh and metal bone! limb only one, and lip only one!
 Gray-blue leaf by red-heat grown! helve produced from a little seed
 Resting the grass amid and upon,
 To be lean'd, and to lean on.

 Strong shapes, and attributes of strong shapes--masculine trades,
 sights and sounds;
 Long varied train of an emblem, dabs of music;
 Fingers of the organist skipping staccato over the keys of the great

 Welcome are all earth's lands, each for its kind; 10
 Welcome are lands of pine and oak;
 Welcome are lands of the lemon and fig;
 Welcome are lands of gold;
 Welcome are lands of wheat and maize--welcome those of the grape;
 Welcome are lands of sugar and rice;
 Welcome the cotton-lands--welcome those of the white potato and sweet
 Welcome are mountains, flats, sands, forests, prairies;
 Welcome the rich borders of rivers, table-lands, openings;
 Welcome the measureless grazing-lands--welcome the teeming soil of
 orchards, flax, honey, hemp;
 Welcome just as much the other more hard-faced lands; 20
 Lands rich as lands of gold, or wheat and fruit lands;
 Lands of mines, lands of the manly and rugged ores;
 Lands of coal, copper, lead, tin, zinc;
 LANDS OF IRON! lands of the make of the axe!

 The log at the wood-pile, the axe supported by it;
 The sylvan hut, the vine over the doorway, the space clear'd for a
 The irregular tapping of rain down on the leaves, after the storm is
 The wailing and moaning at intervals, the thought of the sea,
 The thought of ships struck in the storm, and put on their beam ends,
 and the cutting away of masts;
 The sentiment of the huge timbers of old-fashion'd houses and
 barns; 30
 The remember'd print or narrative, the voyage at a venture of men,
 families, goods,
 The disembarkation, the founding of a new city,
 The voyage of those who sought a New England and found it--the outset
 The settlements of the Arkansas, Colorado, Ottawa, Willamette,
 The slow progress, the scant fare, the axe, rifle, saddle-bags;
 The beauty of all adventurous and daring persons,
 The beauty of wood-boys and wood-men, with their clear untrimm'd
 The beauty of independence, departure, actions that rely on
 The American contempt for statutes and ceremonies, the boundless
 impatience of restraint,
 The loose drift of character, the inkling through random types, the
 solidification; 40
 The butcher in the slaughter-house, the hands aboard schooners and
 sloops, the raftsman, the pioneer,
 Lumbermen in their winter camp, day-break in the woods, stripes of
 snow on the limbs of trees, the occasional snapping,
 The glad clear sound of one's own voice, the merry song, the natural
 life of the woods, the strong day's work,
 The blazing fire at night, the sweet taste of supper, the talk, the
 bed of hemlock boughs, and the bear-skin;
 --The house-builder at work in cities or anywhere,
 The preparatory jointing, squaring, sawing, mortising,
 The hoist-up of beams, the push of them in their places, laying them
 Setting the studs by their tenons in the mortises, according as they
 were prepared,
 The blows of mallets and hammers, the attitudes of the men, their
 curv'd limbs,
 Bending, standing, astride the beams, driving in pins, holding on by
 posts and braces, 50
 The hook'd arm over the plate, the other arm wielding the axe,
 The floor-men forcing the planks close, to be nail'd,
 Their postures bringing their weapons downward on the bearers,
 The echoes resounding through the vacant building;
 The huge store-house carried up in the city, well under way,
 The six framing-men, two in the middle, and two at each end,
 carefully bearing on their shoulders a heavy stick for a cross-
 The crowded line of masons with trowels in their right hands, rapidly
 laying the long side-wall, two hundred feet from front to rear,
 The flexible rise and fall of backs, the continual click of the
 trowels striking the bricks,
 The bricks, one after another, each laid so workmanlike in its place,
 and set with a knock of the trowel-handle,
 The piles of materials, the mortar on the mortar-boards, and the
 steady replenishing by the hod-men; 60
 --Spar-makers in the spar-yard, the swarming row of well-grown
 The swing of their axes on the square-hew'd log, shaping it toward
 the shape of a mast,
 The brisk short crackle of the steel driven slantingly into the pine,
 The butter-color'd chips flying off in great flakes and slivers,
 The limber motion of brawny young arms and hips in easy costumes;
 The constructor of wharves, bridges, piers, bulk-heads, floa