Thanks in Old Age – Walt Whitman

Thanks in old age – thanks ere I go,
For health, the midday sun, the impalpable air – for life, mere
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
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, un-
specified, readers belov’d,
We never met, and ne’er 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 for-
ward 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.