Thanks in Old Age, by Walt Whitman

Thanks in Old Age

Thanks in old age--thanks ere I go,
For health, the midday sun, the impalpable air--for life, mere life,
For precious ever-lingering memories, (of you my mother dear--you,
father--you, brothers, sisters, friends, )
For all my days--not those of peace alone--the days of war the same,
For gentle words, caresses, gifts from foreign lands,
For shelter, wine and meat--for sweet appreciation,
(You distant, dim unknown--or young or old--countless, unspecified,
readers belov'd,
We never met, and neer shall meet--and yet our souls embrace, long,
close and long; )
For beings, groups, love, deeds, words, books--for colors, forms,
For all the brave strong men--devoted, hardy men--who've forward
sprung in freedom's help, all years, all lands
For braver, stronger, more devoted men--(a special laurel ere I go,
to life's war's chosen ones,
The cannoneers of song and thought--the great artillerists--the
foremost leaders, captains of the soul: )
As soldier from an ended war return'd--As traveler out of myriads,
to the long procession retrospective,
Thanks--joyful thanks!--a soldier's, traveler's thanks.

poems.one - Walt Whitman

Walt Whitman