Walt Whitman

by Edwin Arlington Robinson

The master-songs are ended, and the man

That sang them is a name. And so is God

A name; and so is love, and life, and death,

And everything. But we, who are too blind

To read what we have written, or what faith

Has written for us, do not understand:

We only blink, and wonder.

Last night it was the song that was the man,

But now it is the man that is the song.

We do not hear him very much to-day:

His piercing and eternal cadence rings

Too pure for us --- too powerfully pure,

Too lovingly triumphant, and too large;

But there are some that hear him, and they know

That he shall sing to-morrow for all men,

And that all time shall listen.

The master-songs are ended? Rather say

No songs are ended that are ever sung,

And that no names are dead names. When we write

Men's letters on proud marble or on sand,

We write them there forever.