Walt Whitman – The Past-Present

I was looking a long while for the history of the past for myself, and for
these chants—and now I have found it.
It is not in those paged fables in the libraries, (them I neither accept
nor reject;)
It is no more in the legends than in all else;
It is in the present—it is this earth to-day;
It is in Democracy—in this America—the Old World also;
It is the life of one man or one woman to-day, the average man of to-day;
It is languages, social customs, literatures, arts;
It is the broad show of artificial things, ships, machinery, politics,
creeds, modern improvements, and the interchange of nations,
All for the average man of to-day.