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Song of / a / President

Janis Butler Holm

I am the / man of / millions /
dwelling / far from the clank of crowds / the / masses /
the / throes and convulsions / of populous pavements /

I am the / man of / riches / the / well-begotten /
offspring / of a / President / myself / a / President /

Dweller in / the West / lover of / creeds /
I sing / of / myself / mighty / in / heir-ship /
in / politics / ambition / governments / commerce /
a true son / of / my nation / my tongue / unrivaled /

O divine average! /
I sing / from an American point of view /
My songs / a program of chants /
I sing / the evangel-poem of / business /
For me / the solid prizes of the universe /

Ohio / Missouri / Kansas / Mississippi /
Hear the loud echoes of my songs there! /
I will make the true poem of riches /
I will sing the song of / the land /
I will effuse egotism, and show it underlying all /
Desirer and lover / of gold / I will make a song
for these states / and more /

I say the whole earth / shall / hear / my voice announcing /
Following many, and followed by many /
I will / inaugurate a religion /
for those who belong here, and those to come /
For who but I should understand / the / spirituality / of / fuel /
Magnificent / it / sweeps and provides for all / America /

Flowing through / the / ages / supply / interminable /
under the / oceans / the / pastures and forests /
the / shores / savannas / sierras and peaks /
the rocks and sands / the pastoral plains /
the prairies / swamp-cedars / the / short curly grass /
O / ceaseless / gift / of / many lands /
all / subjected to / America /

North and south / east and west /
See, revolving, the globe / see / the whole geography of the / earth /
Behold / what has come to the surface /
Behold / the / energy / reaching hither /
the / pulses of / flame / swiftly / advancing /
Here is / essential life / resplendent /
the spring / and / soul / of / eternal progress /
O / fuel / here for America! /

But / I make the poem of evil also /
of / nations / threatening / fanged and / menacing /
with / weapons / clandestine / without / true / religion /
A song make I / resolute, warlike /
manly / my / muse / firm / my / countenance /
No dainty dolce affettuoso I /
With courageous clear voice / I dare / proceed /
I sing / the song of / Democracy! /

Americanos! Conquerors! / O expanding and swift / Democracy! /
Make / haste / yes / make / haste / with me /
Share with me / happy / victory /
joyfully / sailing to other shores to annex the same /
shooting / burning / cheerily braving / evil / for religion's sake /
How certain the future is / for / great / America! /

Death / is a painful thing / but what of / death /
What / matter / the / blood / that / flows /
I say / nothing can ever be greater /
O / nothing can happen more beautiful than death /
for the / love and / glory / of / endless / fuel /
the / substance / the soul / of / America! /

See, projected, through time / successions of men /
a new race, dominating previous ones, and grander far /
Behold / vistas of glory, incessant and branching /
numberless factories / ceaseless vehicles /
countless masses / moving / rapt and happy / through the shops /
all / singing / the winner's / song /
all / singing / the song of / America! /

O I / shall / triumph—and you shall also /
the foremost people / forever and forever /
What / matter / nations / antique / and / backward /
What / matter / unprecedented waves and storms /
O / fuel / sublime / your / riches / rain / upon / us /
Of / gift / without check / I / lovingly / sing /

So / sing with / me / most / faithful and true /
Sing / this / the song / of your / President /
Nothing can ever be / grander / than / this /
the / ecstatic / song of / America!

This song is composed of words and phrases from Walt Whitman's "Starting from Paumanok" in the 1900 edition of "Leaves of Grass".