Years of the Modern

(1995)

"Years of the Modern" is the third song of William Bolcom's song cycle A Walt Whitman Triptych.

Years of the Modern
by Walt Whitman


Years of the modern! years of the unperform'd!


Your horizon rises, I see it parting away for more august dramas,


I see not America only, not only Liberty's nation but other nations preparing,


I see tremendous entrances and exits, new combinations, the solidarity of races,


The earth, restive, confronts a new era, perhaps a general divine war,


No one knows what will happen next, such portents fill the days and nights;


Years prophetical! the space ahead as I walk, as I vainly try to pierce it, is full of phantoms,


Unborn deeds, things soon to be, project their shapes around me,


This incredible rush and heat, this strange ecstatic fever of dreams O years!


Your dreams O years, how they penetrate through me! (I know not whether I sleep or wake.)


The perform'd America and Europe grow dim, retiring in shadow behind me,


The unperform'd, more gigantic than ever, advance, advance upon me.


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