Not to exclude or demarcate, or pick out evils from their formidable
masses (even to expose them,)
But add, fuse, complete, extend--and celebrate the immortal and the good.
Haughty this song, its words and scope,
To span vast realms of space and time, Evolution--the cumulative--growths and generations.
Begun in ripen'd youth and steadily pursued,
Wandering, peering, dallying with all--war, peace, day and night
Never even for one brief hour abandoning my task,
I end it here in sickness, poverty, and old age.
I sing of life, yet mind me well of death:
To-day shadowy Death dogs my steps, my seated shape, and has for years--
Draws sometimes close to me, as face to face.