Old Walt Whitman saw his country lying on the road between Europe and Asia. The great explorers, from Columbus on, had been turned back by the American continents; but the Good Grey Poet could see mankind spreading out over the prairies, crossing the Western mountains, reaching the shores of the Pacific and sailing over it to fulfill the dream that had always haunted Europe. He wrote:
Passage to more than India! . . .
Have we not stood here like trees in the ground long enough? . . .
Have we not darken'd and dazed...