Of Life immense in passion, pulse, and power,
Cheerful, for freest action form'd under the laws divine,
The Modern Man I sing.
Whitman, writing here as a contemporary of Lincoln and Darwin, ushers in the modern age, and the modern man: a man who is spiritual and was formed by and possibly obeys “laws divine,” sure, but at the same time, a man who submits himself over “freely” to “passion, pulse, power” and “cheer.” He lives his “immense” life to the fullest and doesn’t look back over his shoulder to a past that is becoming rapidly antiquated.
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