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Walt Whitman

"Ethiopia Saluting the Colors"

Who are you dusky woman, so ancient hardly human
With your woolly-white and turban'd head, and bare bony feet?
Why rising by the roadside here, do you the colors greet?

('Tis while our army lines Carolina's sands and pines
Forth from thy hovel door thou Ethiopia com'st to me
As under doughty Sherman I march toward the sea.)

Me master years a hundred since from my parents sunder'd
A little child, they caught me as the savage beast is caught
Then hither me across the sea the cruel slaver brought

No further does she say, but lingering all the day
Her high-borne turban'd head she wags, and rolls her darkling eye
And courtesies to the regiments, the guidons moving by

What is it fateful woman, so blear, hardly human?
Why wag your head with turban bound, yellow, red, and green?
Are the things so strange and marvelous you see or have seen?

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