© 2016 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
Pioneers! O Pioneers!

Pioneers! O Pioneers!


by Walt Whitman

Pioneers! O Pioneers! Sacrifice Quotes

How we cite our quotes: (Line)

Quote #1

For we cannot tarry here,
We must march my darlings, we must bear the brunt of danger,
We the youthful sinewy races, all the rest on us depend, (5-7)

There is something totally necessary about this march. It just has to happen, like showering or eating French fries (okay, that last one's optional). Our speaker urges that we "must" sacrifice some safety in order to keep moving forward. It seems that everyone else, perhaps the whole human race, depends on us pushing out into new frontiers.

Quote #2

O to die advancing on!
Are there some of us to droop and die? has the hour come?
Then upon the march we fittest die, soon and sure the gap is fill'd. (53-55)

Our speaker makes it sound like there is glory in sacrificing your life for the cause of venturing into the unknown. It does not seem terrible to die in this way, not for our speaker. It is, in fact, the most fitting way to die.

Quote #3

Do the feasters gluttonous feast?
Do the corpulent sleepers sleep? have they lock'd and bolted doors?
Still be ours the diet hard, and the blanket on the ground,
Pioneers! O pioneers! (93-96)

As we might have guessed by now, our speaker is not a fan of five star restaurants and sleeping in. The dude doesn't even like locked doors. He wants us to sleep on the ground and eat a hard diet, for that is what keeps us fit and hardy and in touch with the freshness and newness of the world. Okay, but can we at least have a tent?

People who Shmooped this also Shmooped...