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.