Night on the Prairies

Night on the prairies,
The supper is over, the fire on the ground burns low,
The wearied emigrants sleep, wrapt in their blankets;
I walk by myself—I stand and look at the stars, which I
     think now I have never realized before.

Now I absorb immortality and peace,
I admire death and test prepositions.

How plenteous! how spiritual! how resumé!
The same old man and soul—the same old aspirations, and
     the same content.

I was thinking the day most splendid till I saw what the
     not-day exhibited,
I was thinking this globe enough till there sprang out so
     noiseless around me myriads of other globes.

Now while the great thoughts of space and eternity fill me I
     will measure myself by them,
And now touch’d with the lives of other globes arrived as
     far along as those of earth,
Or waiting to arrive, or pass’d on farther than those of the
I henceforth no more ignore them than I ignore my own life,
Or the lives of the earth arrived as far as mine, or waiting to

O I see now that life cannot exhibit all to me, as the day
I see that I am to wait for what will be exhibited by death.

—Walt Whitman