Verse > Anthologies > Harriet Monroe, ed. > Poetry: A Magazine of Verse, 1912–22
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Harriet Monroe, ed. (1860–1936).  Poetry: A Magazine of Verse.  1912–22.
 
Come down, Walt!
By John Russell McCarthy
 
WALT! Walt!
You burly old lover of men and women,
You hairy shouter of catalogues from the housetops,
Earth’s prophet, through whom the Almighty chanted His works—
Walt! Walt! Up there! Do you hear us hallooing to you?        5
 
Out of stinking alleys,
Out of gutters and dead fields,
Out of the eternal monotony of the factories,
From all abominable trades and places,
Swarms an egregious horde:        10
Speaking all tongues they come,
Singing new songs, and loving and praying,
And mauling and being mauled;
And pushed down under the slime and bursting out to the heavens.
We do not know them.        15
We futile men in white collars do not know them.
 
Walt! Walt!—
You burly old lover of men and women—
Can’t you get a furlough?
Stop shouting above the noise of the harps,        20
Loose your arm from Abe Lincoln’s
And come down.
 
Eat with this horde, Walt,
And laugh with them
And weep with them!        25
Then come forth chanting,
You prophet and diviner,
You lover and seer of men:
Find for us the perfume of their stench,
Shout forth the beauty of their dreams,        30
Translate their hundred tongues.
Come, Walt! Come!
 
 
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