(So to the students the old professor, Having studied the new and antique, the Greek and Germanic systems,
The Base of All Metaphysics
by Walt Whitman
from “Calamus” in Leaves of Grass, 1871
A word I give to remain in your memories and minds,
As base and finalè too for all metaphysics.
At the close of his crowded course.)
Kant having studied and stated, Fichte and Schelling and Hegel,
Stated the lore of Plato, and Socrates greater than Plato,
And greater than Socrates sought and stated, Christ divine having studied long,
I see reminiscent to-day those Greek and Germanic systems,
See the philosophies all, Christian churches and tenets see,
Yet underneath Socrates clearly see, and underneath Christ the divine I see,
The dear love of man for his comrade, the attraction of friend to friend,
Of the well-married husband and wife, of children and parents,
Of city for city and land for land.
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(So to the students the old professor,
Having studied the new and antique, the Greek and Germanic systems,