by Walt Whitman
To conclude—I announce what comes after me;
I announce mightier offspring, orators, days, and then, for the present, depart.
I remember I said, before my leaves sprang at all,
I would raise my voice jocund and strong, with reference to consummations.
When America does what was promis’d,
When there are plentiful athletic bards, inland and seaboard,
When through These States walk a hundred millions of superb persons,
When the rest part away for superb persons, and contribute to them,
When breeds of the most perfect mothers denote America,
Then to me and mine our due fruition.
I have press’d through in my own right,
I have sung the Body and the Soul—War and Peace have I sung,
And the songs of Life and of Birth—and shown that there are many births:
I have offer’d my style to everyone—I have journey’d with confident step;
While my pleasure is yet at the full, I whisper, So long!
And take the young woman’s hand, and the young man’s hand, for the last time.
This tune was probably introduced to me by my old man when I was maybe thirteen or fourteen. He was big into country music after the divorce -- although, I think that was because that was as close as he could get to an Old School/Old Boy Rockabilly scene in Waterloo, Iowa in the Eighties.
It looks at the same pain-in-the-ass question the poem by Whitman looks at: We live and we love and we move on -- why are we doing this again?