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The Centerarian's Story Part 2 by Walt Whitman
When I clutch'd your hand, it was not with terror;
But suddenly, pouring about me here, on every side,
And below there where the boys were drilling, and up the slopes they
And where tents are pitch'd, and wherever you see, south and south-
east and south-west,
Over hills, across lowlands, and in the skirts of woods,
And along the shores, in mire (now fill'd over), came again, and
As eighty-five years agone, no mere parade receiv'd with applause of
But a battle, which I took part in myself--aye, long ago as it is, I
took part in it,
Walking then this hill-top, this same ground.
Aye, this is the ground;
My blind eyes, even as I speak, behold it re-peopled from graves;
The years recede, pavements and stately houses disappear;
Rude forts appear again, the old hoop'd guns are mounted;
I see the lines of rais'd earth stretching from river to bay;
I mark the vista of waters, I mark the uplands and slopes:
Here we lay encamp'd--it was this time in summer also.
As I talk, I remember all--I remember the Declaration;
It was read here--the whole army paraded--it was read to us here;
By his staff surrounded, the General stood in the middle--he held up
his unsheath'd sword,
It glitter'd in the sun in full sight of the army.