6 I see the site of the old empire of Assyria, and that of Persia, and that of India, I see the falling of the Ganges over the high rim of Saukara.
For not the envoys nor the tann’d Japanee from his island only, Lithe and silent the Hindoo appears, the Asiatic continent itself appears, the past, the dead, The murky night-morning of wonder and fable inscrutable, The envelop’d mysteries, the old and unknown hive-bees, The north, the sweltering south, eastern Assyria, the Hebrews, the ancient of ancients, Vast desolated cities, the gliding present, all of these and more are in the pageant-procession.
…and trying the edge with his thumb, The one who clean-shapes the handle and sets it firmly in the socket; The shadowy processions of the portraits of the past users also, The primal patient mechanics, the architects and engineers, The far-off Assyrian edifice and Mizra edifice, The Roman lictors preceding the consuls, The antique European warrior with his axe in combat, The uplifted arm, the clatter of blows on the helmeted head, The death-howl, the limpsy tumbling body, the rush of…
) I respect Assyria, China, Teutonia, and the Hebrews, I adopt each theory, myth, god, and demigod, I see that the old accounts, bibles, genealogies, are true, without exception, I assert that all past days were what they must have been, And that they could no-how have been better than they were, And that to-day is what it must be, and that America is, And that to-day and America could no-how be better than they are.
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Stephen Bertman says Assyrians invented excavation to undermine walls of besieged cities.