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I shed my tears; my tears – my consolation; And I am silent; my murmur is dead, My soul, sunk in a depression’s shade, Hides in its depths the bitter exultation. I don’t deplore my passing dream of life -Vanish in dark, the empty apparition! I care only for my love’s infliction, And let me die, but only die in love!
Walt Whitman. by Walt Whitman
1 I CELEBRATE myself; And what I assume you shall assume; For every atom belonging to me, as good belongs to you. I loafe and invite my Soul; I lean and loafe at my ease, observing a spear of summer grass. Houses and rooms are full of perfumes—the shelves are crowded with perfumes; I breathe the fragrance myself, and know it and like it; The distillation would intoxicate me also, but I shall not let it. The atmosphere is not a perfume—it has no taste of the distillation—it is odorless; It is for my mouth forever—I am in love with it; I will go to the bank by the wood, and become undisguised and naked; I am mad for it to be in contact with me. 2 The smoke of my own breath; Echoes, ripples, buzz’d whispers, love-root, silk-thread, crotch and vine; My respiration and inspiration, the beating of my heart, the passing of blood and air through my lungs; The sniff of green leaves and dry leaves, and of the shore, and dark-color’d sea-rocks, and of hay in the barn; The sound of the belch’d words of my voice, words loos’d to the eddies of the wind; A few light kisses, a few embraces, a reaching around of arms; The play of shine and shade on the trees as the supple boughs wag; The delight alone, or in the rush of the streets, or along the fields and hill-sides; The feeling of health, the full-noon trill, the song of me rising from bed and meeting the sun. Have you reckon’d a thousand acres much? have you reckon’d the earth much? Have you practis’d so long to learn to read?
Have you felt so proud to get at the meaning of poems? Stop this day and night with me, and you shall possess the origin of all poems; You shall possess the good of the earth and sun—(there are millions of suns left;) You shall no longer take things at second or third hand, nor look through the eyes of the dead, nor feed on the spectres in books; You shall not look through my eyes either, nor take things from me: You shall listen to all sides, and filter them from yourself. 3 I have heard what the talkers were talking, the talk of the beginning and the end; But I do not talk of the beginning or the end. There was never any more inception than there is now, Nor any more youth or age than there is now; And will never be any more perfection than there is now, Nor any more heaven or hell than there is now. Urge, and urge, and urge; Always the procreant urge of the world. Out of the dimness opposite equals advance—always substance and increase, always sex; Always a knit of identity—always distinction—always a breed of life. To elaborate is no avail—learn’d and unlearn’d feel that it is so. Sure as the most certain sure, plumb in the uprights, well entretied, braced in the beams, Stout as a horse, affectionate, haughty, electrical, I and this mystery, here we stand. Clear and sweet is my Soul, and clear and sweet is all that is not my Soul. Lack one lacks both, and the unseen is proved by the seen, Till that becomes unseen, and receives proof in its turn. Showing the best, and dividing it from the worst, age vexes age; Knowing the perfect fitness and equanimity of things, while they discuss I am silent, and go bathe and admire myself. Welcome is every organ and attribute of me, and of any man hearty and clean; Not an inch, nor a particle of an inch, is vile, and none shall be less familiar than the rest. I am satisfied—I see, dance, laugh, sing: As the hugging and loving Bed-fellow sleeps at my side through the night, and withdraws at the peep of the day, with stealthy tread,
Leaving me baskets cover’d with white towels, swelling the house with their plenty, Shall I postpone my acceptation and realization, and scream at my eyes, That they turn from gazing after and down the road, And forthwith cipher and show me a cent, Exactly the contents of one, and exactly the contents of two, and which is ahead? 4 Trippers and askers surround me; People I meet—the effect upon me of my early life, or the ward and city I live in, or the nation, The latest dates, discoveries, inventions, societies, authors old and new, My dinner, dress, associates, looks, compliments, dues, The real or fancied indifference of some man or woman I love, The sickness of one of my folks, or of myself, or ill-doing, or loss or lack of money, or depressions or exaltations; Battles, the horrors of fratricidal war, the fever of doubtful news, the fitful events; These come to me days and nights, and go from me again, But they are not the Me myself. Apart from the pulling and hauling stands what I am; Stands amused, complacent, compassionating, idle, unitary; Looks down, is erect, or bends an arm on an impalpable certain rest, Looking with side-curved head, curious what will come next; Both in and out of the game, and watching and wondering at it. Backward I see in my own days where I sweated through fog with linguists and contenders; I have no mockings or arguments—I witness and wait. 5 I believe in you, my Soul—the other I am must not abase itself to you; And you must not be abased to the other. Loafe with me on the grass—loose the stop from your throat; Not words, not music or rhyme I want—not custom or lecture, not even the best; Only the lull I like, the hum of your valved voice. I mind how once we lay, such a transparent summer morning; How you settled your head athwart my hips, and gently turn’d over upon me, And parted the shirt from my bosom-bone, and plunged your tongue to my bare-stript heart, And reach’d till you felt my beard, and reach’d till you held my feet.
Swiftly arose and spread around me the peace and knowledge that pass all the argument of the earth; And I know that the hand of God is the promise of my own,
And I know that the spirit of God is the brother of my own; And that all the men ever born are also my brothers, and the women my sisters and lovers; And that a kelson of the creation is love; And limitless are leaves, stiff or drooping in the fields; And brown ants in the little wells beneath them; And mossy scabs of the worm fence, and heap’d stones, elder, mullen and poke-weed. 6 A child said, What is the grass? fetching it to me with full hands; How could I answer the child? I do not know what it is, any more than he. I guess it must be the flag of my disposition, out of hopeful green stuff woven.
Or I guess it is the handkerchief of the Lord, A scented gift and remembrancer, designedly dropt, Bearing the owner’s name someway in the corners, that we may see and remark, and say, Whose? Or I guess the grass is itself a child, the produced babe of the vegetation. Or I guess it is a uniform hieroglyphic; And it means, Sprouting alike in broad zones and narrow zones, Growing among black folks as among white; Kanuck, Tuckahoe, Congressman, Cuff, I give them the same, I receive them the same. And now it seems to me the beautiful uncut hair of graves. Tenderly will I use you, curling grass; It may be you transpire from the breasts of young men; It may be if I had known them I would have loved them; It may be you are from old people, and from women, and from offspring taken soon out of their mothers’ laps; And here you are the mothers’ laps. This grass is very dark to be from the white heads of old mothers; Darker than the colorless beards of old men; Dark to come from under the faint red roofs of mouths. O I perceive after all so many uttering tongues! And I perceive they do not come from the roofs of mouths for nothing. I wish I could translate the hints about the dead young men and women, And the hints about old men and mothers, and the offspring taken soon out of their laps. What do you think has become of the young and old men? And what do you think has become of the women and children?
8 The little one sleeps in its cradle. and am not contain’d between my hat and boots. The smallest sprout shows there is really no death. and birth with the new-wash’d babe. and silently brush away flies with my hand. and the stars good. For me the sweet-heart and the old maid—for me mothers. and luckier. And if ever there was. (They do not know how immortal. The earth good. 7 Has any one supposed it lucky to be born? I hasten to inform him or her. and the begetters of children. tireless. I lift the gauze. I peeringly view them from the top. and that love women. all just as immortal and fathomless as myself. For me those that have been boys. I witness the corpse with its dabbled hair—I note where the pistol has fallen. and does not wait at the end to arrest it. The heavy omnibus. tenacious. no two alike. eyes that have shed tears. male and female. whether or no. and every one good. the clank of the . nor an adjunct of an earth. the tires of carts. And am around. sluff of boot-soles. All goes onward and outward—nothing collapses. it is just as lucky to die. talk of the promenaders. And ceas’d the moment life appear’d. For me lips that have smiled.They are alive and well somewhere. I am the mate and companion of people. the driver with his interrogating thumb. I pass death with the dying. and their adjuncts all good. it led forward life. and I know it. The suicide sprawls on the bloody floor of the bed-room. and feels how it stings to be slighted. The youngster and the red-faced girl turn aside up the bushy hill. I see through the broadcloth and gingham. nor discarded.) Every kind for itself and its own—for me mine. and look a long time. I am not an earth. For me the man that is proud. The blab of the pave. nor stale. Undrape! you are not guilty to me. And peruse manifold objects. and cannot be shaken away. And to die is different from what any one supposed. acquisitive. For me children. but I know. and the mothers of mothers.
The Yankee clipper is under her sky-sails—she cuts the sparkle and scud. the sudden oath. The impassive stones that receive and return so many echoes. What exclamations of women taken suddenly. and I depart. adulterous offers made. with my dog and gun by my side. far in the wilds and mountains.shod horses on the granite floor. Falling asleep on the gather’d leaves. Kindling a fire and broiling the fresh-kill’d game. The hurrahs for popular favorites. a sick man inside. the blows and fall. In the late afternoon choosing a safe spot to pass the night. and large thick blankets hanging from their shoulders. and tangle my hair full of wisps. The snow-sleighs. pelts of snowballs. the clinking. The dried grass of the harvest-time loads the slow-drawn wagon. The boatmen and clam-diggers arose early and stopt for me. borne to the hospital. the fury of rous’d mobs. slights. Arrests of criminals. I felt its soft jolts—one leg reclined on the other. The flap of the curtain’d litter. and seize the clover and timothy. On a bank lounged the trapper—he was drest mostly in skins—his luxuriant beard and curls protected his neck—he held his bride by the hand. My eyes settle the land—I bend at her prow. . The clear light plays on the brown gray and green intertinged. who hurry home and give birth to babes. shouted jokes. Her father and his friends sat near. I am there—I help—I came stretch’d atop of the load. I hunt. The excited crowd. What living and buried speech is always vibrating here—what howls restrain’d by decorum. cross-legged and dumbly smoking—they had moccasins to their feet. and went and had a good time: (You should have been with us that day round the chowder-kettle. acceptances. or shout joyously from the deck. Wandering. rejections with convex lips. What groans of over-fed or half-starv’d who fall sun-struck. And roll head over heels. 9 The big doors of the country barn stand open and ready. 10 Alone. I mind them or the show or resonance of them—I come. I jump from the cross-beams. The meeting of enemies. amazed at my own lightness and glee. I tuck’d my trowser-ends in my boots. The armfuls are pack’d to the sagging mow. quickly working his passage to the centre of the crowd. the policeman with his star. or in fits.) I saw the marriage of the trapper in the open air in the far west—the bride was a red girl.
And gave him a room that enter’d from my own. and all so lonesome. The beards of the young men glisten’d with wet. or sharpens his knife at the stall in the market. You splash in the water there. and all so friendly: Twenty-eight years of womanly life. Twenty-eight young men. The young men float on their backs—their white bellies bulge to the sun—they do not ask who seizes fast to them. and his shuffle and break-down. Dancing and laughing along the beach came the twenty-ninth bather. An unseen hand also pass’d over their bodies. They do not know who puffs and declines with pendant and bending arch. Blacksmiths with grimed and hairy chests environ the anvil. She hides. but she saw them and loved them. Where are you off to. I loiter. enjoying his repartee. And brought water. Which of the young men does she like the best? Ah. aft the blinds of the window.She had long eyelashes—her head was bare—her coarse straight locks descended upon her voluptuous limbs and reach’d to her feet. The rest did not see her. It descended tremblingly from their temples and ribs. and led him in and assured him. He staid with me a week before he was recuperated and pass’d north. And went where he sat on a log. yet stay stock still in your room. And remember perfectly well his revolving eyes and his awkwardness. lady? for I see you. . Through the swung half-door of the kitchen I saw him limpsy and weak. the homeliest of them is beautiful to her. (I had him sit next me at table—my fire-lock lean’d in the corner. And remember putting plasters on the galls of his neck and ankles. and fill’d a tub for his sweated body and bruis’d feet. handsome and richly drest. The runaway slave came to my house and stopt outside. it ran from their long hair: Little streams pass’d all over their bodies. They do not think whom they souse with spray.) 11 Twenty-eight young men bathe by the shore. She owns the fine house by the rise of the bank. and gave him some coarse clean clothes. 12 The butcher-boy puts off his killing clothes. I heard his motions crackling the twigs of the woodpile.
13 The negro holds firmly the reins of his four horses—the block swags underneath on its tied-over chain. on my distant and day-long ramble. pois’d on one leg on the string-piece. The litter of the grunting sow as they tug at her teats. but I listen close. and loosens over his hip-band. 14 The wild gander leads his flock through the cool night. They rise together—they slowly circle around. I go with the team also. Ya-honk! he says. . And do not call the tortoise unworthy because she is not something else. and the tufted crown. intentional. My tread scares the wood-drake and wood-duck. or halt in the leafy shade! what is that you express in your eyes? It seems to me more than all the print I have read in my life. In me the caresser of life wherever moving—backward as well as forward slueing.Each has his main-sledge—they are all out—(there is a great heat in the fire. To niches aside and junior bending. And the look of the bay mare shames silliness out of me. yellow. white. I behold the picturesque giant. playing within me. And the jay in the woods never studied the gamut. the chickadee. I find its purpose and place up there toward the wintry sky. The sun falls on his crispy hair and moustache—falls on the black of his polish’d and perfect limbs. (The pert may suppose it meaningless. And acknowledge red. and sounds it down to me like an invitation.) From the cinder-strew’d threshold I follow their movements. Over-hand the hammers swing—over-hand so slow—over-hand so sure: They do not hasten—each man hits in his place. The lithe sheer of their waists plays even with their massive arms. yet trills pretty well to me. the prairie-dog. and love him—and I do not stop there. His glance is calm and commanding—he tosses the slouch of his hat away from his forehead. the cat on the house-sill. Oxen that rattle the yoke and chain.) The sharp-hoof’d moose of the north. The negro that drives the dray of the stone-yard—steady and tall he stands. I believe in those wing’d purposes. And consider green and violet. His blue shirt exposes his ample neck and breast.
spending for vast returns. The deacons are ordain’d with cross’d hands at the altar. The mate stands braced in the whale-boat—lance and harpoon are ready. Of the builders and steerers of ships. I am enamour’d of growing out-doors. is Me. I can eat and sleep with them week in and week out. As the woolly-pates hoe in the sugar-field. What is removed drops horribly in a pail. The press of my foot to the earth springs a hundred affections.) The half-breed straps on his light boots to complete in the race. a confirm’d case. The malform’d limbs are tied to the surgeon’s table. and looks at the oats and rye. Adorning myself to bestow myself on the first that will take me. takes his position. Out from the crowd steps the marksman. He turns his quid of tobacco. the . The duck-shooter walks by silent and cautious stretches. the gentlemen run for their partners. levels his piece. The married and unmarried children ride home to their Thanksgiving dinner. The western turkey-shooting draws old and young—some lean on their rifles. while his eyes blurr with the manuscript. The young fellow drives the express-wagon—(I love him. The quadroon girl is sold at the auction-stand—the drunkard nods by the bar-room stove. The machinist rolls up his sleeves—the policeman travels his beat—the gate-keeper marks who pass. nearest. cheapest. The farmer stops by the bars. as he walks on a First-day loafe. The spinning-girl retreats and advances to the hum of the big wheel. and the wielders of axes and mauls. easiest. the overseer views them from his saddle. I see in them and myself the same old law.) The jour printer with gray head and gaunt jaws works at his case. and the drivers of horses. (He will never sleep any more as he did in the cot in his mother’s bed-room. The groups of newly-come immigrants cover the wharf or levee. Scattering it freely forever. The bugle calls in the ball-room. some sit on logs.The brood of the turkey-hen. What is commonest. The lunatic is carried at last to the asylum. Of men that live among cattle. The carpenter dresses his plank—the tongue of his foreplane whistles its wild ascending lisp. 15 The pure contralto sings in the organ loft. Me going in for my chances. Not asking the sky to come down to my good will. or taste of the ocean or woods. and she with her half-spread wings. They scorn the best I can do to relate them. The pilot seizes the king-pin—he heaves down with a strong arm. though I do not know him.
dancers bow to each other. watching his drove. or in the factory or mill. the minute-hand of the clock moves slowly. The canal boy trots on the tow-path—the book-keeper counts at his desk—the shoemaker waxes his thread. the indescribable crowd is gather’d—it is the Fourth of Seventh-month—(What salutes of cannon and small arms!) Seasons pursuing each other. In single file. The Wolverine sets traps on the creek that helps fill the Huron. The pedler sweats with his pack on his back. her bonnet bobs on her tipsy and pimpled neck. The young sister holds out the skein. while the elder sister winds it off in a ball. having a week ago borne her first child.) The President. he gives notice by the jingling of loose change. The opium-eater reclines with rigid head and just-open’d lips. The nine months’ gone is in the parturition chamber. The youth lies awake in the cedar-roof’d garret. The floor-men are laying the floor—the tinners are tinning the roof—the masons are calling for mortar. The paving-man leans on his two-handed rammer—the reporter’s lead flies swiftly over the note-book—the sign-painter is lettering with red and gold. The Missourian crosses the plains. the plougher ploughs. and the winter-grain falls in the ground. The prostitute draggles her shawl. sings out to them that would stray. On the piazza walk three matrons stately and friendly with twined arms. her faintness and pains are advancing. The regatta is spread on the bay—the race is begun—how the white sails sparkle! The drover. The bride unrumples her white dress. As the deck-hands make fast the steamboat. nor jeer you. (Miserable! I do not laugh at your oaths. (the purchaser higgling about the odd cent. the plank is thrown for the shore-going passengers. The clean-hair’d Yankee girl works with her sewing-machine. The conductor beats time for the band. The one-year wife is recovering and happy. Seasons pursuing each other. toting his wares and his cattle. wrapt in her yellow-hemm’d cloth. each shouldering his hod.) The camera and plate are prepared. The child is baptized—the convert is making his first professions. The squaw. the lady must sit for her daguerreotype. the mower mows. . and stops now and then for the knots. The crowd laugh at her blackguard oaths. is surrounded by the Great Secretaries. The crew of the fish-smack pack repeated layers of halibut in the hold. The connoisseur peers along the exhibition-gallery with half-shut eyes bent sideways. pass onward the laborers. As the fare-collector goes through the train. and harks to the musical rain. holding a cabinet council. is offering moccasins and bead-bags for sale. and all the performers follow him. the men jeer and wink to each other.
of every rank and religion. ever regardful of others. walking the vale of the Elkhorn.) Comrade of raftsmen and coalmen—comrade of all who shake hands and welcome to drink and meat. Of every hue and caste am I. and am in my place. priest. . rest hunters and trappers after their day’s sport. And am not stuck up. near the cottonwood or pekan-trees. the nation of many nations. or up in the bush. more or less. And these one and all tend inward to me. Buckeye. or along coasts—a Hoosier. A learner with the simplest. and the young husband sleeps by his wife. a child as well as a man. The old husband sleeps by his wife. my joints the limberest joints on earth. or through those drain’d by the Tennessee. Stuff’d with the stuff that is coarse. in my deer-skin leggings—a Louisianian or Georgian. Regardless of others. And such as it is to be of these. I resist anything better than my own diversity. A Kentuckian. Flatboatmen make fast. mechanic. bound by my own way. The living sleep for their time. At home in the fleet of ice-boats. A Yankee. A southerner soon as a northerner—a planter nonchalant and hospitable. I breathe the air. or in the woods of Maine. At home on the hills of Vermont. and I tend outward to them.Off on the lakes the pike-fisher watches and waits by the hole in the frozen surface. or through those of the Arkansaw. Comrade of Californians—comrade of free north-westerners. in canvas tents. or the Texan ranch. (loving their big proportions. Coon-seekers go through the regions of the Red river. A prisoner. Torches shine in the dark that hangs on the Chattahoochee or Altamahaw. down by the Oconee I live. A novice beginning. but leave plenty after me. towards dusk. the squatter strikes deep with his axe. fancy-man. of the foolish as much as the wise. A farmer. 16 I am of old and young. A boatman over lakes or bays. I am. a teacher of the thoughtfullest. In walls of adobie. Badger. One of the Great Nation. quaker. yet experient of myriads of seasons. At home on Kanadian snow-shoes. or with fishermen off Newfoundland. and the country sleeps. and the sternest joints on earth. and stuff’d with the stuff that is fine. artist. rowdy. lawyer. gentleman. The stumps stand thick round the clearing. The city sleeps. and the largest the same. sailing with the rest and tacking. the dead sleep for their time. physician. ready for trade. the smallest the same. Patriarchs sit at supper with sons and grandsons and great-grandsons around them. sailor. Maternal as well as paternal.
they are nothing. 18 With music strong I come—with my cornets and my drums. I have—for the Fourth-month showers have. are in their place. This is the touch of my lips to yours—this is the murmur of yearning. This is the press of a bashful hand—this is the float and odor of hair. This is the grass that grows wherever the land is. The palpable is in its place. and the outlet again. are hereby invited. If they are not the riddle. Have you heard that it was good to gain the day? I also say it is good to fall—battles are lost in the same spirit in which they are won. This is the common air that bathes the globe. thief. If they are not yours as much as mine. The kept-woman. It is for the wicked just the same as the righteous—I make appointments with all. The suns I see. If they are not just as close as they are distant. they are nothing. Vivas to those who have fail’d! And to those whose war-vessels sank in the sea! And to those themselves who sank in the sea! And to all generals that lost engagements! and all overcome heroes! And the numberless unknown heroes. I play not marches for accepted victors only—I play great marches for conquer’d and slain persons.) 17 These are the thoughts of all men in all ages and lands—they are not original with me. I blow through my embouchures my loudest and gayest for them. This is the far-off depth and height reflecting my own face. and the impalpable is in its place. or next to nothing. and the water is. 19 This is the meal equally set—this is the meat for natural hunger. I will not have a single person slighted or left away. and the suns I cannot see.(The moth and the fish-eggs are in their place. sponger. and the untying of the riddle. The heavy-lipp’d slave is invited—the venerealee is invited: There shall be no difference between them and the rest. Do you take it I would astonish? . Do you guess I have some intricate purpose? Well. they are nothing. and the mica on the side of a rock has. equal to the greatest heroes known. I beat and pound for the dead. This is the thoughtful merge of myself.
Why should I pray? Why should I venerate and be ceremonious? Having pried through the strata. I sit content. I do not trouble my spirit to vindicate itself or be understood. and calculated close. I know I shall not pass like a child’s carlacue cut with a burnt stick at night.) I exist as I am—that is enough. I sit content. and not one a barleycorn less. I know I am deathless. To me the converging objects of the universe perpetually flow. If no other in the world be aware. In all people I see myself—none more. 20 Who goes there? hankering. I might not tell everybody. I know this orbit of mine cannot be swept by the carpenter’s compass. And if each and all be aware. gross. mystical. Else it were time lost listening to me. you shall offset it with your own. counsell’d with doctors. and I must get what the writing means. I find no sweeter fat than sticks to my own bones. Whimpering and truckling fold with powders for invalids—conformity goes to the fourth-remov’d. I know I am august. How is it I extract strength from the beef I eat? What is a man. That life is a suck and a sell. I see that the elementary laws never apologize.Does the daylight astonish? Does the early redstart. I say of them. and the ground but wallow and filth. (I reckon I behave no prouder than the level I plant my house by. and nothing remains at the end but threadbare crape. and tears. All are written to me. . That months are vacuums. twittering through the woods? Do I astonish more than they? This hour I tell things in confidence. analyzed to a hair. I do not snivel that snivel the world over. anyhow? What am I? What are you? All I mark as my own. but I will tell you. I wear my hat as I please. And I know I am solid and sound. And the good or bad I say of myself. after all. nude. indoors or out.
Press close. and that is myself. I show that size is only development. nodding night! mad. Have you outstript the rest? Are you the President? It is a trifle—they will more than arrive there. I laugh at what you call dissolution. apple-blossom’d earth! Smile. I behold from the beach your crooked inviting fingers. I call to the earth and sea. nourishing night! Night of south winds! night of the large few stars! Still. and the pains of hell are with me. half-held by the night. I am the poet of the woman the same as the man. and by far the largest to me. My foothold is tenon’d and mortis’d in granite. And I am the poet of the Soul. bare-bosom’d night! Press close. And I say it is as great to be a woman as to be a man.One world is aware. passionate love! 22 You sea! I resign myself to you also—I guess what you mean. And I know the amplitude of time. O voluptuous. The pleasures of heaven are with me. mottling the tide of the river! Earth of the limpid gray of clouds. Earth of departed sunset! earth of the mountains. or in ten thousand or ten million years. Smile. misty-topt! Earth of the vitreous pour of the full moon. and still pass on. brighter and clearer for my sake! Far-swooping elbow’d earth! rich. you have given me love! Therefore I to you give love! O unspeakable. And I say there is nothing greater than the mother of men. I can cheerfully take it now. just tinged with blue! Earth of shine and dark. naked. The first I graft and increase upon myself—the latter I translate into a new tongue. I am he that walks with the tender and growing night. summer night. And whether I come to my own to-day. magnetic. 21 I am the poet of the Body. . for your lover comes! Prodigal. or with equal cheerfulness I can wait. every one. We have had ducking and deprecating about enough. I chant the chant of dilation or pride. cool-breath’d earth! Earth of the slumbering and liquid trees.
or behaves well to-day. and of all phases. What blurt is this about virtue and about vice? Evil propels me. always and always. it is all the same to me—I accept Time. baffling wonder I love. rock me in billowy drowse. . A word of the faith that never balks. how there can be a mean man or an infidel. Cushion me soft.I believe you refuse to go back without feeling of me. Washes and razors for foofoos—for me freckles and a bristling beard. Thoughts and deeds of the present. and the antipodal side a balance. 23 Endless unfolding of words of ages! And mine a word of the modern—the word En-Masse. alone completes all. There is no better than it and now. Extoller of amies. and those that sleep in each others’ arms. What behaved well in the past. Did you fear some scrofula out of the unflagging pregnancy? Did you guess the celestial laws are yet to be work’d over and rectified? I find one side a balance. our rouse and early start. Partaker of influx and efflux I—extoller of hate and conciliation. I am he attesting sympathy. This minute that comes to me over the past decillions. I moisten the roots of all that has grown. and skip the house that supports them?) I am not the poet of goodness only—I do not decline to be the poet of wickedness also. Sea of stretch’d ground-swells! Sea breathing broad and convulsive breaths! Sea of the brine of life! sea of unshovell’d yet always-ready graves! Howler and scooper of storms! capricious and dainty sea! I am integral with you—I too am of one phase. It alone is without flaw—it rounds and completes all. Dash me with amorous wet—I can repay you. absolutely. That mystic. is not such a wonder. We must have a turn together—I undress—hurry me out of sight of the land. Here or henceforward. and reform of evil propels me—I stand indifferent. The wonder is. My gait is no fault-finder’s or rejecter’s gait. (Shall I make my list of things in the house. Soft doctrine as steady help as stable doctrine.
Materialism first and last imbuing. eating. and dare not question it. Gentlemen! to you the first honors always: Your facts are useful and real—and yet they are not my dwelling. And of the threads that connect the stars—and of wombs. and of thieves and dwarfs. Through me many long dumb voices. Of the trivial. of life untold. Voices of the interminable generations of slaves. Turbulent. or apart from them. and them that plot and conspire. they. Voices of the diseas’d and despairing. and of deform’d persons. And of the rights of them the others are down upon. flat. This is the lexicographer—this the chemist—this made a grammar of the old cartouches. foolish. No sentimentalist—no stander above men and women. No more modest than immodest. fleshy and sensual. and of freedom and extrication. I speak the pass-word primeval—I give the sign of democracy.I accept reality. . and of the father-stuff.) Less the reminders of properties told. a Kosmos. 24 Walt Whitman am I. By God! I will accept nothing which all cannot have their counterpart of on the same terms. And beat the gong of revolt. And more the reminders. (I but enter by them to an area of my dwelling. These mariners put the ship through dangerous unknown seas. of mighty Manhattan the son. Through me the afflatus surging and surging—through me the current and index. This is the geologist—this works with the scalpel—and this is a mathematician. despised. Unscrew the locks from the doors! Unscrew the doors themselves from their jambs! Whoever degrades another degrades me. drinking and breeding. and favor men and women fully equipt. And make short account of neuters and geldings. and stop with fugitives. my words. And whatever is done or said returns at last to me. Voices of prostitutes. Voices of cycles of preparation and accretion. mixt with cedar and branches of lilac. Hurrah for positive science! long live exact demonstration! Fetch stonecrop.
beard. Seeing. Copulation is no more rank to me than death is. and I remove the veil. bibles. and all so luscious. Divine am I inside and out. . by me clarified and transfigur’d. I dote on myself—there is that lot of me. Breast that presses against other breasts. aroma finer than prayer. are miracles. it shall be you! My brain. thrills me with joy. it shall be the spread of my own body. it shall be you! You my rich blood! Your milky stream. hearing. it shall be you! You sweaty brooks and dews. nor whence the cause of my faintest wish. Translucent mould of me. it shall be you. or any part of it. pale strippings of my life. muscular fields! branches of live oak! loving lounger in my winding paths! it shall be you! Hands I have taken—face I have kiss’d—mortal I have ever touch’d! it shall be you. it shall be you! Shaded ledges and rests. Each moment. Whatever goes to the tilth of me. O I am wonderful! I cannot tell how my ankles bend. Voices indecent. and all the creeds. Root of wash’d sweet flag! timorous pond-snipe! nest of guarded duplicate eggs! it shall be you! Mix’d tussled hay of head. and I make holy whatever I touch or am touch’d from. and whatever happens. brawn. feeling. Through me forbidden voices. it shall be you! Vapors lighting and shading my face. This head more than churches. it shall be you! Trickling sap of maple! fibre of manly wheat! it shall be you! Sun so generous.Fog in the air. beetles rolling balls of dung. I do not press my fingers across my mouth. it shall be your occult convolutions. and each part and tag of me is a miracle. I keep as delicate around the bowels as around the head and heart. If I worship one thing more than another. I believe in the flesh and the appetites. it shall be you! Winds whose soft-tickling genitals rub against me. Voice of sexes and lusts—voices veil’d. it shall be you! Firm masculine colter. The scent of these arm-pits. it shall be you! Broad.
With the twirl of my tongue I encompass worlds. See then whether you shall be master! 25 Dazzling and tremendous. you contain enough—why don’t you let it out. The air tastes good to my palate. . Scooting obliquely high and low. freshly exuding. Do you not know. Something I cannot see puts upward libidinous prongs. The heav’d challenge from the east that moment over my head. A morning-glory at my window satisfies me more than the metaphysics of books. The mocking taunt. Writing and talk do not prove me. dazzling and tremendous as the sun. let him or her set out in search of this day. protected by frost. My voice goes after what my eyes cannot reach. If I could not now and always send sun-rise out of me. then? Come now. but never try to encompass me. O speech. Encompass worlds. nor the cause of the friendship I take again. Walt. how the buds beneath you are folded? Waiting in gloom. Speech is the twin of my vision—it is unequal to measure itself. To behold the day-break! The little light fades the immense and diaphanous shadows. silently rising. to balance them at last. and volumes of worlds.Nor the cause of the friendship I emit. It says sarcastically. Seas of bright juice suffuse heaven. Hefts of the moving world. I will not be tantalized—you conceive too much of articulation. The earth by the sky staid with—the daily close of their junction. My final merit I refuse you—I refuse putting from me what I really am. The dirt receding before my prophetical screams. at innocent gambols. in the calm and cool of the daybreak. It provokes me forever. We found our own. I crowd your sleekest and best by simply looking toward you. whoever hears me. how quick the sun-rise would kill me. I underlying causes. O my Soul. My knowledge my live parts—it keeping tally with the meaning of things. We also ascend. HAPPINESS—which. That I walk up my stoop! I pause to consider if it really be.
Sounds of the city. and sounds out of the city—sounds of the day and night. To accrue what I hear into myself—to let sounds contribute toward me. A tenor large and fresh as the creation fills me. gossip of flames. At length let up again to feel the puzzle of puzzles. The heave’e’yo of stevedores unlading ships by the wharves—the refrain of the anchor-lifters. It shakes mad-sweet pangs through my belly and breast. and color’d lights. I hear bravuras of birds. with premonitory tinkles.) I hear the violoncello (’tis the young man’s heart’s complaint. I hear the sound I love. his pallid lips pronouncing a death-sentence. The angry base of disjointed friendship—the faint tones of the sick. 27 To be. my windpipe throttled in fakes of death.) I hear the key’d cornet—it glides quickly in through my ears. marching two and two. cut by bitter and angry hail—I lose my breath. The ring of alarm-bells—the cry of fire—the whirr of swift-streaking engines and hose-carts. fused or following. combined. Talkative young ones to those that like them—the loud laugh of work-people at their meals. I hear all sounds running together. the sound of the human voice. this indeed is music! This suits me. I hear the train’d soprano—(what work. The steam-whistle—the solid roll of the train of approaching cars.I carry the plenum of proof. Ah. With the hush of my lips I wholly confound the skeptic. It sails me—I dab with bare feet—they are lick’d by the indolent waves. The slow-march play’d at the head of the association. I am exposed. The orbic flex of his mouth is pouring and filling me full. bustle of growing wheat. (They go to guard some corpse—the flag-tops are draped with black muslin. clack of sticks cooking my meals. in my face. Steep’d amid honey’d morphine. and everything else. I hear the chorus—it is a grand opera. I did not know I possess’d them. 26 I think I will do nothing now but listen. with hers. The judge with hands tight to the desk. It wrenches such ardors from me. And that we call BEING. in any form—what is that? . is this?) The orchestra whirls me wider than Uranus flies.
hooded. wrestling touch! sheath’d. sharp-tooth’d touch! Did it make you ache so. to witness and assist against me. and am happy. as for a purpose. taking no denial. Deluding my confusion with the calm of the sunlight and pasture-fields. Unbuttoning my clothes. Immodestly sliding the fellow-senses away.) If nothing lay more develop’d. no regard for my draining strength or my anger. I went myself first to the headland—my own hands carried me there. showering rain.(Round and round we go. Flames and ether making a rush for my veins. They all come to the headland. press. masculine. You villian touch! what are you doing? My breath is tight in its throat. No consideration. Fetching the rest of the herd around to enjoy them a while. track’d by arriving—perpetual payment of perpetual loan. They seize every object and lead it harmlessly through me. Sprouts take and accumulate—stand by the curb prolific and vital: Landscapes. I am given up by traitors. holding me by the bare waist. and ever come back thither. I talk wildly—I have lost my wits—I and nobody else am the greatest traitor. loving. full-sized and golden. Treacherous tip of me reaching and crowding to help them. They have left me helpless to a red marauder. They bribed to swap off with touch. 29 Blind. and recompense richer afterward. feel with my fingers. Straining the udder of my heart for its withheld drip. leaving me? Parting. 28 Is this then a touch? quivering me to a new identity. I merely stir. projected. Behaving licentious toward me. Rich. all of us. Unclench your floodgates! you are too much for me. whether I pass or stop. Then all uniting to stand on a headland and worry me. the quahaug in its callous shell were enough. and go and graze at the edges of me. On all sides prurient provokers stiffening my limbs. Depriving me of my best. Mine is no callous shell. My flesh and blood playing out lightning to strike what is hardly different from myself. The sentries desert every other part of me. To touch my person to some one else’s is about as much as I can stand. . I have instant conductors all over me.
In vain the plutonic rocks send their old heat against my approach. And a summit and flower there is the feeling they have for each other.30 All truths wait in all things. coal. esculent roots. and we them. In vain the speeding or shyness. And they are to branch boundlessly out of that lesson until it becomes omnific. And the tree-toad is a chef-d’oeuvre for the highest. and the great monsters lying low. In vain objects stand leagues off. And the running blackberry would adorn the parlors of heaven. (What is less or more than a touch?) Logic and sermons never convince. In vain the snake slides through the creepers and logs. grains. Only what proves itself to every man and woman is so. A minute and a drop of me settle my brain. The insignificant is as big to me as any. I ascend to the nest in the fissure of the cliff. fruits. And I could come every afternoon of my life to look at the farmer’s girl boiling her iron tea-kettle and baking shortcake. I find I incorporate gneiss. and the egg of the wren. In vain the buzzard houses herself with the sky. And a compend of compends is the meat of a man or woman. In vain the mastodon retreats beneath its own powder’d bones. In vain the ocean settling in hollows. nor resist it. Only what nobody denies is so. And call anything close again. And have distanced what is behind me for good reasons. And until every one shall delight us. and a grain of sand. and assume manifold shapes. And the cow crunching with depress’d head surpasses any statue. long-threaded moss. 32 . And am stucco’d with quadrupeds and birds all over. They neither hasten their own delivery. And the pismire is equally perfect. In vain the razor-bill’d auk sails far north to Labrador. when I desire it. I follow quickly. And the narrowest hinge in my hand puts to scorn all machinery. And a mouse is miracle enough to stagger sextillions of infidels. They do not need the obstetric forceps of the surgeon. In vain the elk takes to the inner passes of the woods. I believe the soggy clods shall become lovers and lamps. 31 I believe a leaf of grass is no less than the journey-work of the stars. The damp of the night drives deeper into my soul.
His nostrils dilate. I stand and look at them long and long. A gigantic beauty of a stallion. Not one is respectable or industrious over the whole earth. then I resign you. My ties and ballasts leave me—I travel—I sail—my elbows rest in the sea-gaps. Not too exclusive toward the reachers of my remembrancers. I wonder where they get those tokens: Did I pass that way huge times ago. they are so placid and self-contain’d. I skirt the sierras—my palms cover continents. And again as I walk’d the beach under the paling stars of the morning. Along the ruts of the turnpike—along the dry gulch and rivulet bed. By the city’s quadrangular houses—in log huts—camping with lumbermen. Picking out here one that I love. Why do I need your paces. Head high in the forehead.I think I could turn and live with animals. what I guessed at. They do not sweat and whine about their condition. tail dusting the ground. Gathering and showing more always and with velocity. They bring me tokens of myself—they evince them plainly in their possession. and negligently drop them? Myself moving forward then and now and forever. and the like of these among them. as my heels embrace him. flexibly moving. stallion. What I guess’d when I loaf’d on the grass. Weeding my onion-patch. when I myself out-gallop them? Even. as I stand or sit. They do not make me sick discussing their duty to God. and I accept them. as we race around and return. Not one is dissatisfied—not one is demented with the mania of owning things. fresh and responsive to my caresses. or hoeing rows of carrots and parsnips—crossing . So they show their relations to me. Limbs glossy and supple. What I guess’d while I lay alone in my bed. 33 O swift wind! O space and time! now I see it is true. Not one kneels to another. wide between the ears. I but use you a moment. I am afoot with my vision. His well-built limbs tremble with pleasure. nor to his kind that lived thousands of years ago. Infinite and omnigenous. and now go with him on brotherly terms. Eyes full of sparkling wickedness—ears finely cut. passing faster than you. They do not lie awake in the dark and weep for their sins.
Over the dusky green of the rye as it ripples and shades in the breeze. sucking the juice through a straw.savannas—trailing in forests. holding on by low scragged limbs. Where the bat flies in the Seventh-month eve—where the great gold-bug drops through the dark. Where flails keep time on the barn floor. At he-festivals. Where the alligator in his tough pimples sleeps by the bayou. Over the sharp-peak’d farm house. Where the pear-shaped balloon is floating aloft. At the cider-mill. Where shells grow to her slimy deck—where the dead are corrupting below. Where the black bear is searching for roots or honey—where the beaver pats the mud with his paddle-shaped tail. Where the half-burn’d brig is riding on unknown currents. Where the brook puts out of the roots of the old tree and flows to the meadow. Where the rattlesnake suns his flabby length on a rock—where the otter is feeding on fish. Upon the race-course. bull-dances. Where the she-whale swims with her calf. Wherever the human heart beats with terrible throes under its ribs. with blackguard jibes. Where the dense-starr’d flag is borne at the head of the regiments. Approaching Manhattan. ironical license. Over the growing sugar—over the yellow-flower’d cotton plant—over the rice in its low moist field. . Scaling mountains. (floating in it myself. Over the white and brown buckwheat. Where cattle stand and shake away flies with the tremulous shuddering of their hides. and looking composedly down. Over the western persimmon—over the long-leav’d corn—over the delicate blue-flower flax. and never forsakes it. Scorch’d ankle-deep by the hot sand—hauling my boat down the shallow river. Where the quail is whistling betwixt the woods and the wheat-lot. Where trip-hammers crash—where the press is whirling its cylinders. Walking the path worn in the grass. Prospecting—gold-digging—girdling the trees of a new purchase. up by the long-stretching island. the cataract falling like a veil over my countenance. Under Niagara. Where the steam-ship trails hind-ways its long pennant of smoke. a hummer and buzzer there with the rest. drinking. Where the fin of the shark cuts like a black chip out of the water. Where the cheese-cloth hangs in the kitchen—where andirons straddle the hearth-slab—where cobwebs fall in festoons from the rafters. Where the panther walks to and fro on a limb overhead—where the buck turns furiously at the hunter. or a good game of base-ball. tasting the sweets of the brown mash. laughter. with its scallop’d scum and slender shoots from the gutters. and beat through the leaves of the brush.) Where the life-car is drawn on the slip-noose—where the heat hatches pale-green eggs in the dented sand. Upon a door-step—upon the horse-block of hard wood outside. pulling myself cautiously up. or enjoying picnics or jigs.
studying the print of animals’ feet. where she laughs her near-human laugh. Where the splash of swimmers and divers cools the warm noon. as eager and fickle as any. Hurrying with the modern crowd. or any preacher—impress’d seriously at the camp-meeting: Looking in at the shop-windows of Broadway the whole forenoon—flatting the flesh of my nose on the thick plate-glass. ready in my madness to knife him. huskings. Pleas’d with the quakeress as she puts off her bonnet and talks melodiously. the homely as well as the handsome.At apple-peelings. Where sun-down shadows lengthen over the limitless and lonesome prairie. Solitary at midnight in my back yard. Pleas’d with the native. Through patches of citrons and cucumbers with silver-wired leaves. to dicker and adventure. Pleas’d with the tune of the choir of the white-wash’d church. cackles. and I in the middle: Coming home with the silent and dark-cheek’d bush-boy—(behind me he rides at the drape of the day. Walking the old hills of Judea. Where burial coaches enter the arch’d gates of a cemetery. Where winter wolves bark amid wastes of snow and icicled trees. wanting kisses for all the red fruit I find. By the cot in the hospital. screams. Through the salt-lick or orange glade. Nigh the coffin’d corpse when all is still. Hot toward one I hate. Where the heifers browse—where geese nip their food with short jerks. My right and left arms round the sides of two friends. or under conical firs. Wandering the same afternoon with my face turn’d up to the clouds. examining with a candle: Voyaging to every port. At musters. Where the bull advances to do his masculine work—where the stud to the mare—where the cock is treading the hen. weeps. or the moccasin print. Where the laughing-gull scoots by the shore. Pleas’d with the earnest words of the sweating Methodist preacher. Where the hay-rick stands in the barn-yard—where the dry-stalks are scattered—where the brood-cow waits in the hovel. with the beautiful gentle God by my side. Where band-neck’d partridges roost in a ring on the ground with their heads out. Through the gymnasium—through the curtain’d saloon—through the office or public hall. friendly bees. Where the yellow-crown’d heron comes to the edge of the marsh at night and feeds upon small crabs. Pleas’d with women. reaching lemonade to a feverish patient. house-raisings: Where the mocking-bird sounds his delicious gurgles. and pleas’d with the foreign—pleas’d with the new and old. Where herds of buffalo make a crawling spread of the square miles far and near. Where the katy-did works her chromatic reed on the walnut-tree over the well. beach-parties. Where bee-hives range on a gray bench in the garden. Where the humming-bird shimmers—where the neck of the long-lived swan is curving and winding. my thoughts gone from me a long while. half hid by the high weeds.) Far from the settlements. .
. I tread day and night such roads. I anchor my ship for a little while only. I fly the flight of the fluid and swallowing soul. I tighten her all night to my thighs and lips. (We are approaching some great battle-field in which we are soon to be engaged. planning. We sail the arctic sea—it is plenty light enough. I visit the orchards of spheres. We pass the colossal outposts of the encampment—we pass with still feet and caution. Speeding amid the seven satellites. and look at quintillions green. How the skipper saw the crowded and rudderless wreck of the steam-ship. They fetch my man’s body up. My voice is the wife’s voice. The white-topt mountains show in the distance—I fling out my fancies toward them. No guard can shut me off. Storming. I take my place late at night in the crow’s-nest. Backing and filling. I ascend to the foretruck. My course runs below the soundings of plummets. I go hunting polar furs and the seal—leaping chasms with a pike-pointed staff—clinging to topples of brittle and blue. loving. I help myself to material and immaterial. I understand the large hearts of heroes. and stay with the bride myself.) I am a free companion—I bivouac by invading watchfires. Or we are entering by the suburbs some vast and ruin’d city. and I pass them—the scenery is plain in all directions. and the broad ring. The blocks and fallen architecture more than all the living cities of the globe. My messengers continually cruise away. enjoying. and look at the product: And look at quintillions ripen’d. and Death chasing it up and down the storm. and the diameter of eighty thousand miles. The enormous masses of ice pass me. Carrying the crescent child that carries its own full mother in its belly. Speeding with tail’d meteors—throwing fire-balls like the rest. I turn the bridegroom out of bed. cautioning. Through the clear atmosphere I stretch around on the wonderful beauty. dripping and drown’d. The courage of present times and all times.Speeding through space—speeding through heaven and the stars. or bring their returns to me. appearing and disappearing. nor law prevent me. the screech by the rail of the stairs.
Distant and dead resuscitate. on a board. crack and again crack the marksmen. I clutch the rails of the fence. The twinges that sting like needles his legs and neck—the murderous buckshot and the bullets. How the silent old-faced infants. I wince at the bite of the dogs. burnt with dry wood. and was faithful of days and faithful of nights. cover’d with sweat. leans by the fence. haul close. and gave not back one inch. Heat and smoke I inspired—I heard the yelling shouts of my comrades. I am the mash’d fireman with breast-bone broken. blowing. How he saved the drifting company at last: How the lank loose-gown’d women look’d when boated from the side of their prepared graves. The disdain and calmness of olden martyrs. exhausted but not so unhappy. condemn’d for a witch. The mother. and the lifted sick. thinn’d with the ooze of my skin. I lie in the night air in my red shirt—the pervading hush is for my sake. Painless after all I lie. and the sharp-lipp’d unshaved men: All this I swallow—it tastes good—I like it well—it becomes mine. They show as the dial or move as the hands of me—I am the clock myself. . Hell and despair are upon me. we will not desert you: How he follow’d with them. I do not ask the wounded person how he feels—I myself become the wounded person. Taunt my dizzy ears. White and beautiful are the faces around me—the heads are bared of their fire-caps. They have clear’d the beams away—they tenderly lift me forth. Tumbling walls buried me in their debris. And chalk’d in large letters. My hurts turn livid upon me as I lean on a cane and observe. I fall on the weeds and stones. and beat me violently over the head with whip-stocks. The riders spur their unwilling horses. Be of good cheer. The kneeling crowd fades with the light of the torches. I am the hounded slave.How he knuckled tight. my gore dribs. Agonies are one of my changes of garments. All these I feel. The hounded slave that flags in the race. I am the man—I suffer’d—I was there. I heard the distant click of their picks and shovels. and tack’d with them—and would not give it up. or am. her children gazing on.
rifle. 34 Now I tell what I knew in Texas in my early youth. The whizz of limbs. A few fell at once. (I tell not the fall of Alamo. Again gurgles the mouth of my dying general—he furiously waves with his hand. or batter’d with the blunts of . The cries. generous. sunburnt. nine times their number. Not one escaped to tell the fall of Alamo. Some. Their colonel was wounded and their ammunition gone. and march’d back prisoners of war. with their baggage for breastworks. The fall of grenades through the rent roof—the fan-shaped explosion. Bearded. I am there again. and affectionate. Mind not me—mind—the entrenchments. The second First-day morning they were brought out in squads. The maim’d and mangled dug in the dirt—the newcomers saw them there. and massacred—it was beautiful early summer.) ’Tis the tale of the murder in cold blood of four hundred and twelve young men. These were despatch’d with bayonets. trailing its red drip. They were the glory of the race of rangers. I take part—I see and hear the whole. The hundred and fifty are dumb yet at Alamo. handsome. high in the air. The ambulanza slowly passing. and was over by eight. song. Nine hundred lives out of the surrounding enemy’s. supper. Not a single one over thirty years of age. Some made a mad and helpless rush—some stood stark and straight. He gasps through the clot. None obey’d the command to kneel. attempted to crawl away. Again. They treated for an honorable capitulation. The work commenced about five o’clock. Workmen searching after damages. making indispensable repairs. Retreating. curses. they had form’d in a hollow square. wood. drest in the free costume of hunters. courtship. half-kill’d. was the price they took in advance. turbulent. roar—the plaudits for well-aim’d shots. gave up their arms. receiv’d writing and seal. the cannon responsive. proud. heads. Again the attacking cannon.I am an old artillerist—I tell of my fort’s bombardment. Large. shot in the temple or heart—the living and dead lay together. iron. Matchless with horse. Again the long roll of the drummers. stone. to my listening ears. mortars.
he composedly cries. Our frigate takes fire. Only three guns are in use. Fighting at sun-down. . Not a moment’s cease. Two. Ten o’clock at night. and never was. for I hear the voice of my little captain. the full moon well up. We have not struck. We had receiv’d some eighteen pound shots under the water. especially the main-top. to give them a chance for themselves. They hold out bravely during the whole of the action. Our foe was no skulk in his ship. A youth not seventeen years old seiz’d his assassin till two more came to release him. and cover’d with the boy’s blood. fighting at dark. At eleven o’clock began the burning of the bodies: That is the tale of the murder of the four hundred and twelve young men. (said he. our leaks on the gain.) His was the surly English pluck—and there is no tougher or truer. they do not know whom to trust. and blowing up overhead. The master-at-arms loosing the prisoners confined in the afterhold. killing all around. horribly raking us. we have just begun our part of the fighting. and five feet of water reported.muskets. 35 Would you hear of an old-fashion’d sea-fight? Would you learn who won by the light of the moon and stars? List to the story as my grandmother’s father. On our lower-gun-deck two large pieces had burst at the first fire. The tops alone second the fire of this little battery. The transit to and from the magazine is now stopt by the sentinels. The three were all torn. We closed with him—the yards entangled—the cannon touch’d. well served with grape and canister. and never will be. They see so many strange faces. told it to me. My captain lash’d fast with his own hands. One is directed by the captain himself against the enemy’s mainmast. I tell you. and the fighting is done? Now I laugh content. silence his musketry and clear his decks. The other asks if we demand quarter? If our colors are struck. Along the lower’d eve he came. the sailor.
Delicate sniffs of sea-breeze. The husky voices of the two or three officers yet fit for duty. litter of powder-parcels. For me the keepers of convicts shoulder their carbines and keep watch. The captain on the quarter-deck coldly giving his orders through a countenance white as a sheet. 36 Stretch’d and still lies the midnight. The flames. Formless stacks of bodies. tapering groan. spite of all that can be done. The hiss of the surgeon’s knife. Serene stands the little captain. Black and impassive guns. smells of sedgy grass and fields by the shore. and long. slight shock of the soothe of waves. It is I let out . strong scent. and bodies by themselves—dabs of flesh upon the masts and spars. The dead face of an old salt with long white hair and carefully curl’d whiskers. Wheeze. the gnawing teeth of his saw. dull. Toward twelve at night. dangle of rigging. Two great hulls motionless on the breast of the darkness. And feel the dull unintermitted pain. flickering aloft and below. I am possess’d. cluck. the corpse of the child that serv’d in the cabin. Our vessel riddled and slowly sinking—preparations to pass to the one we have conquer’d. His eyes give more light to us than our battle-lanterns.The leaks gain fast on the pumps—the fire eats toward the powder-magazine. He is not hurried—his voice is neither high nor low. These so—these irretrievable. swash of falling blood. I embody all presences outlaw’d or suffering. there in the beams of the moon. One of the pumps has been shot away—it is generally thought we are sinking. death-messages given in charge to survivors. short wild scream. Cut of cordage. See myself in prison shaped like another man. Near by. 37 O Christ! This is mastering me! In at the conquer’d doors they crowd. they surrender to us.
pure heir of the ruined day. You know how this is: if I look at the crystal moon. A bough of fruit falls from the sun on your dark garment. alone in the loneliness of this hour of the dead and filled with the lives of fire. aromas. Speechless. my friend. if I touch near the fire the impalpable ash or the wrinkled body of the log.The Light Wraps You by Pablo Neruda The light wraps you in its mortal flame. . and the things that hide in you come out again so that a blue and palled people your newly born. If You Forget Me by Pablo Neruda I want you to know one thing. were little boats that sail toward those isles of yours that wait for me. light. as if everything that exists. everything carries me to you. lead and possess a creation so rich in life that its flowers perish and it is full of sadness. metals. Abstracted pale mourner. standing that way against the old propellers of the twighlight that revolves around you. takes nourishment. Oh magnificent and fecund and magnetic slave of the circle that moves in turn through black and gold: rise. at the red branch of the slow autumn at my window. The great roots of night grow suddenly from your soul.
in me all that fire is repeated. and you decide to leave me at the shore of the heart where I have roots. remember that on that day.Well. in me nothing is extinguished or forgotten. my love feeds on your love. beloved. if each day a flower climbs up to your lips to seek me. if little by little you stop loving me I shall stop loving you little by little. ah my own. If suddenly you forget me do not look for me. If you think it long and mad. for I shall already have forgotten you. ah my love. and as long as you live it will be in your arms without leaving mine I Have A Rendezvous With Death by Alan Seeger I have a rendezvous with Death At some disputed barricade. the wind of banners that passes through my life. It may be he shall take my hand And lead me into his dark land And close my eyes and quench my breath— It may be I shall pass him still. When Spring comes back with rustling shade And apple-blossoms fill the air— I have a rendezvous with Death When Spring brings back blue days and fair. now. you feel that you are destined for me with implacable sweetness. I have a rendezvous with Death . But if each day. at that hour. each hour. I shall lift my arms and my roots will set off to seek another land.
and enfold me under your white wings. made to flicker by the entering winds. oh gentle Death. full of love and mercy. and in his eyes forgiveness. "Come. and carry me from these multitudes who left me in the dark corner of oblivion because I do not bleed the weak as they do. my soul is longing for you. oh Death. God knows 'twere better to be deep Pillowed in silk and scented down. oh beautiful Death. I shall not fail that rendezvous. When Spring trips north again this year. oh sweet Death. Come. and deliver me from my neighbors who looked upon me as a stranger because I interpret to them the language of the angels. Hurry. He a man in the spring of life who foresaw fully that the peaceful hour of freeing himself from the clutches of life was fast nearing. and some parchments upon which he had inscribed his heart's feeling. He was breathing his last and had no one at his bedside save the oil lamp. And I to my pledged word am true. A Poet's Death is His Life IV by Khalil Gibran The dark wings of night enfolded the city upon which Nature had spread a pure white garment of snow.. and breath to breath. and on his lops a sorrowful smile. He as noble soul. Where Love throbs out in blissful sleep. He was awaiting Death's visit gratefully. he moved his eyes hopelessly. As he salvaged the remnants of his withering strength he lifted his hands heavenward.On some scarred slope of battered hill When Spring comes round again this year And the first meadow-flowers appear. Pulse nigh to pulse. and men deserted the streets for their houses in search of warmth. not touched a sister's cheeks. not caresses a sweetheart's fingertips. He was poet perishing from hunger in the city of living rich. oh peaceful Death." . In a dark recess of that hovel was a poor bed in which a dying youth was lying. his only companion. There in the suburb stood an old hut heavily laden with snow and on the verge of falling.. for I am weary of dragging them. staring at the dim light of his oil lamp. Come close to me and unfasten the irons life. while the north wind probed in contemplation of laying waste the gardens. Come and take me. He was placed in the earthly world to enliven the heart of man with his beautiful and profound sayings. Come. But alas! He gladly bade the cold earth farewell without receiving a smile from its strange occupants. for my fellowmen are not in want of me. Where hushed awakenings are dear. sent by the Goddess of Understanding to soothe and make gentle the human spirit. and upon his pale face appeared the dawn of hope. And he said. as if wanting to penetrate the ceiling in order to see the stars from behind the veil clouds. by beloved Death. But I've a rendezvous with Death At midnight in some flaming town. Embrace me. let your lips touch my lips which never tasted a mother's kiss.
Come close and bid me farewell. Hundreds of years later. Light the candles and burn the incense around my bed. Dry your tears. Let the children grasp my hands with soft and rosy fingers. . whose writings had freed them.Then. they erected a monument in the most beautiful garden of the city and celebrated a feast every year in honor of that poet. for my open eyes are tired. Embalm my hair with frankincense and sprinkle my feet with perfume. Look at the bride of Death standing like a column of light Between my bed and the infinite. Let the virgins come close and see the shadow of God in my eyes. Then the hovel became empty and nothing was lest save parchments and papers which the poet had strewn with bitter futility. how cruel is man's ignorance! The Beauty of Death XIV by Khalil Gibran Part One . Oh. She impressed a deep and long and gently withdrawn kiss that left and eternal smile of fulfillment upon his lips. for It's magic meaning is a soft bed upon which my heart rests. and raise your heads as the flowers Raise their crowns to greet the dawn. when the people of the city arose from the diseases slumber of ignorance and saw the dawn of knowledge. And read what the hand of Death has written on my forehead. holding in her hand a wreath of lilies. Let the ages place their veined hands upon my head and bless me.The Calling Let me sleep. Sing of the past as you behold the dawn of hope in my eyes. for my soul is intoxicated with love and Let me rest. touch my eyes with smiling lips. Hold your breath and listen with me to the beckoning rustle of Her white wings. except with the eye of his spirit. my friends. Let me rest in the arms of Slumber. and Scatter leaves of jasmine and roses over my body. for my spirit has had its bounty of days and nights. Let the silver-stringed lyre quiver and soothe my spirit. at the bedside of the dying poet appeared an angel who possessed a supernatural and divine beauty. She embraced him and closed his eyes so he could see no more. Weave from the harp and lute a veil around my withering heart.
my companions. Take me not to the crowded burying ground lest my slumber Be disrupted by the rattling of bones and skulls. Take my body from the ivory casket and let it rest Upon pillows of orange blossoms. I am far. Mourn me not with apparel of black. yellow as the candlelight And red as the twilight. . But dress in color and rejoice with me.The Ascending I have passed a mountain peak and my soul is soaring in the Firmament of complete and unbound freedom. and the voices of the throngs reduced to silence. And I can hear naught but the music of Eternity In exact harmony with the spirit's desires. but draw upon my face with your Finger the symbol of Love and Joy. The songs of the waves and the hymns of the streams Are scattered. Lament me not. I am cloaked in full whiteness. Disturb not the air's tranquility with chanting and requiems. close Your eyes and you will see me with you forevermore. The prairies and fields are disappearing behind a white specter That looks like the spring cloud. Talk not of my departure with sighs in your hearts. far away. Part Two .And hear the echo of His will racing with my breath. but sing songs of youth and joy. but sing of harvest and the winepress. But let your hearts sing with me the song of Eternal Life. Place me upon clusters of leaves and Carry my upon your friendly shoulders and Walk slowly to the deserted forest. and the Hands of oblivion are engulfing the roads and the houses. Utter no sigh of agony. Shed not tears upon me. I am in comfort.The Remains Unwrap me from this white linen shroud and clothe me With leaves of jasmine and lilies. and the clouds are Hiding the hills from my eyes. The valleys are becoming flooded with an ocean of silence. I am in peace. Part Three .
And reveal even to the sun the secret of my peace.resown with Colors By Succeeding Springs -Death -. can be Adjusted -Dynasties repaired -Systems -.dissolved -Wastes of Lives -.unto itself -. Leave me then. and thrive on my body's element they will Breathe the fragrance of my heart into space. Leave me. "Dissolve" says Death -. Leave with place. as the almond And apple blossoms disperse under the vibration of Nisan's breeze. Take from me all earthly raiment and place me deep in my Mother Earth. and when they Grow above me. and place me with care upon my mother's breast.Carry me to the cypress woods and dig my grave where violets And poppies grow not in the other's shadow. lilies and myrtle. and let each handful be mixed With seeds of jasmine. can be Adjusted -. Go back to the joy of your dwellings and you will find there That which Death cannot remove from you and me. friends . Leave me to God and disperse yourselves slowly.settled in their Sockets -Citadels -. Let my grace be wide.Exception -Is exempt from Change - Death is a Dialogue between by Emily Dickinson Death is a Dialogue between The Spirit and the Dust.leave me and depart on mute feet.Argues from the Ground -- . Let my grave be deep so that the flood will not Carry my bones to the open valley. As the silence walks in the deserted valley.The Spirit "Sir I have another Trust" -Death doubts it -. Cover me with soft earth. for what you see here is far away in meaning From the earthly world. And sail with the breeze and comfort the wayfarer.by Emily Dickinson All but Death. All but Death. so that the twilight shadows Will come and sit by me.
which had good Old Orpheus seen. Committed holy rapes upon our will. and hold Their lead more precious than thy burnish'd gold. Did through the eye the melting heart distil. Such as th' unscissor'd churchman from the flower Of fading rhetoric. thy dust. kindled first by thy Promethean breath. Or Pindar's. And fresh invention planted. but the flame Of thy brave soul (that shot such heat and light As burnt our earth and made our darkness bright. The pulpit may her plain And sober Christian precepts still retain. and open'd us a mine Of rich and pregnant fancy. no tune? Didst thou dispense Through all our language. with pedantic weeds O'erspread. when our souls must be Possess'd. or whatsoever wrong By ours was done the Greek or Latin tongue. and wholesome uses. or all the ancient brood Our superstitious fools admire. And the deep knowledge of dark truths so teach As sense might judge what fancy could not reach) Must be desir'd forever. Dry as the sand that measures it. should lay Upon thy ashes. frame. the lazy seeds Of servile imitation thrown away. Thou hadst been their exchequer. Now thou art dead (great Donne) one elegy To crown thy hearse? Why yet dare we not trust. Though with unkneaded dough-bak'd prose. and no more They each in other's dust had rak'd for ore. Glow'd here a while. short-liv'd as his hour. the subtle cheat Of sly exchanges. Which. both the words and sense? 'Tis a sad truth. was purg'd by thee. An Elegy upon the Death of the Dean of St. that make poetic rage A mimic fury. lies quench'd now in thy death. thou didst pay The debts of our penurious bankrupt age. The Muses' garden. and the juggling feat Of two-edg'd words.The Spirit turns away Just laying off for evidence An Overcoat of Clay. Dr. drawn a line Of masculine expression. . Licentious thefts. Thou hast redeem'd. Doctrines it may. John by Thomas Carew Can we not force from widow'd poetry. on the funeral day? Have we no voice. or with Anacreon's ecstasy. So the fire That fills with spirit and heat the Delphic quire. Paul's. Grave homilies and lectures. not their own.
Though every pen should share a distinct part. thy only hands. a loud elegy. Till verse. By virtue of the first impulsive force. Whose awful solemn murmurs were to thee. and so dies. yet from those bare lands Of what is purely thine. So doth the swiftly turning wheel not stand In th' instant we withdraw the moving hand. But some small time maintain a faint weak course. which had prov'd too stout For their soft melting phrases. and thy strict laws will be Too hard for libertines in poetry. besides the fear To touch their harvest. that break with untun'd verse The reverend silence that attends thy hearse. refin'd by thee. whose influence. then turn to ashes. pardon me. (And that thy smallest work) have gleaned more Than all those times and tongues could reap before. . Yet art thou theme enough to tire all art. And left the rifled fields. now with these. made only fit With her tough thick-ribb'd hoops to gird about Thy giant fancy. And spit disdain. Grown feeble. Gasping short-winded accents. oh. or those old idols be Ador'd again.Thou shalt yield no precedence. or weep all our loss. As in time They had the start. and swell the windy page. The silenc'd tales o' th' Metamorphoses Shall stuff their lines. in this last age Turn ballad rhyme. so did they cull the prime Buds of invention many a hundred year. till the devouring flashes Suck all the moisture up. And the blind fate of language. And so. let it crack awhile. which in thy just reign Were banish'd nobler poems. Oh. but of time. More than these faint lines. And this too great to be express'd by me. Since to the awe of thy imperious wit Our stubborn language bends. But thou art gone. That did proclaim in a dumb eloquence The death of all the arts. with new apostasy. whilst I cast on thy funeral pile Thy crown of bays. in these panting numbers lies. They will repeal the goodly exil'd train Of gods and goddesses. Those are too numerous for an elegy. I will not draw the envy to engross All thy perfections. yet thou mayst claim From so great disadvantage greater fame. whose tun'd chime More charms the outward sense.
gods. benefactions. It is I. the maternal mystery. as parts of itself. All the governments. bestowals. A Woman Waits for Me. They are ultimate in their own right—they are calm. and you are for me. Their flesh has the old divine suppleness and strength. commands. and with those women that are warm-blooded and sufficient for me. Apollo's first. I would do you good. large. beauties. that rul'd as he thought fit The universal monarchy of wit. not only for our own sake. I will go stay with her who waits for me. well-possess’d of themselves. pride. follow’d persons of the earth. Songs. clear. I see that they understand me. Souls. acrid. These are contain’d in sex. run. you women! I cannot let you go. Without shame the man I like knows and avows the deliciousness of his sex. health. nothing is lacking. resist. strike. They are not one jot less than I am. defend themselves. and do not deny me. but for others’ sakes. I draw you close to me. or if the moisture of the right man were lacking. advance. Envelop’d in you sleep greater heroes and bards. you women—I make my way. Without shame the woman I like knows and avows hers. judges. the best. undissuadable—but I love you. Sex contains all. They know how to swim. and justifications of itself. I pour the stuff to start sons and daughters fit for These States—I press with slow rude muscle. Here lie two flamens. the true God's priest. meanings. They refuse to awake at the touch of any man but me. shoot. They are tann’d in the face by shining suns and blowing winds. it shall suffice I on thy tomb this epitaph incise: Here lies a king. I see that they are worthy of me—I will be the robust husband of those women. Yet all were lacking. if sex were lacking. All hopes. retreat. promulgations. . by Walt Whitman A WOMAN waits for me—she contains all. I do not hurt you any more than is necessary for you.Let others carve the rest. purities. Bodies. the seminal milk. delights of the earth. I am for you. I am stern. All the passions. ride. wrestle. Now I will dismiss myself from impassive women. proofs. results. row. loves. delicacies. at last. and both those.
as I count on the fruits of the gushing showers I give now.' Ah. If the lady be young and fair. The Wind of Sorrow by Henry Van Dyke The fire of love was burning. brown penny. immortality. 'I am too young. I shall look for loving crops from the birth. Then in the night. we sought to throw New pleasures on the pyre to make it blaze: In life's calm air and tranquil-prosperous ways We missed the radiant heat of long ago. On you I graft the grafts of the best-beloved of me and America. I shall demand perfect men and women out of my love-spendings. In you I wrap a thousand onward years. O love is the crooked thing. penny. I shall expect them to interpenetrate with others. There is nobody wise enough To find out all that is in it.' And then. Bitter with pain and black with fog of fears. life. And in the light of perfect-placid days Nothing but smouldering embers dull and slow. 'I am old enough'.I brace myself effectually—I listen to no entreaties. The babes I beget upon you are to beget babes in their turn. Vainly. 'Go and love. I dare not withdraw till I deposit what has so long accumulated within me. young man. musicians. Through you I drain the pent-up rivers of myself. as I and you interpenetrate now. That drove us trembling to each other's arms -Across the gulf of darkness and salt tears. The drops I distil upon you shall grow fierce and athletic girls. yet so low That in the dark we scarce could see its rays. brown penny. I am looped in the loops of her hair. and singers. for love's delight. And fanned the fire of love to clearest flame Brown Penny by William Butler Yeats I whispered. . a night of sad alarms. death. Into life's calm the wind of sorrow came. I plant so lovingly now. new artists. I shall count on the fruits of the gushing showers of them. Wherefore I threw a penny To find out if I might love. go and love.
brown penny. The only thing I want is to see no more stores.put out My senses. no spectacles. no gardens. who long to be Lost as a light is lost in light. The smell of barbershops makes me break into hoarse sobs. It so happens I am sick of being a man. The only thing I want is to lie still like stones or wool. leave me deaf and blind. One cannot begin it too soon. Still it would be marvelous to terrify a law clerk with a cut lily. Walking Around by Pablo Neruda It so happens I am sick of being a man. It would be great . brown penny. Oh plunge me deep in love -. waterproof. not lost in you.For he would be thinking of love Till the stars had run away And the shadows eaten the moon. A taper in a rushing wind. penny. or kill a nun with a blow on the ear. and I find you still A spirit beautiful and bright. no elevators. You love me. Yet I am I. I Am Not Yours by Sara Teasdale I am not yours. no more goods. Ah. And it happens that I walk into tailorshops and movie houses dried up. Not lost. although I long to be Lost as a candle lit at noon. like a swan made of felt steering my way in a water of wombs and ashes. It so happens that I am sick of my feet and my nails and my hair and my shadow. Swept by the tempest of your love. Lost as a snowflake in the sea.
and hideous intestines hanging over the doors of houses that I hate. there are mirrors that ought to have wept from shame and terror. when it sees me coming with my convict face. I go from loving to not loving you. my shoes. and venoms. and it howls on its way like a wounded wheel. and hating you . From waiting to not waiting for you My heart moves from cold to fire. and leaves tracks full of warm blood leading toward the night. I Do Not Love You Except Because I Love You by Pablo Neruda I do not love you except because I love you. into hospitals where the bones fly out the window. towels and shirts from which slow dirty tears are falling. I don't want to go on being a root in the dark. with my eyes. I walk by. and umbilical cords. stretched out.to go through the streets with a green knife letting out yells until I died of the cold. into some moist houses. I don't want to go on as a root and a tomb. I stroll along serenely. That's why Monday. I hate you deeply. and certain streets hideous as cracks in the skin. insecure. and courtyards with washing hanging from the line: underwear. eating every day. and there are false teeth forgotten in a coffeepot. into shoeshops that smell like vinegar. into the moist guts of the earth. there are umbrellas everywhere. my rage. a warehouse with corpses. I don't want so much misery. taking in and thinking. forgetting everything. blazes up like gasoline. I love you only because it's you the one I love. And it pushes me into certain corners. going through office buildings and orthopedic shops. shivering with sleep. going on down. There are sulphur-colored birds. dying of grief. half frozen. alone under the ground.
lives darkly in my body. Love Sonnet XVII by Pablo Neruda I do not love you as if you were a salt rose. and I will die of love because I love you. Naked you are tiny as one of your nails. And becomes a naked hand again. Maybe January light will consume My heart with its cruel Ray. Naked you are spacious and yellow As summer in a golden church. risen from the earth. the only one. Naked you are blue as a night in Cuba. Because I love you. without complexities or pride. or from where. You've vines and stars in your hair. . I love you without knowing how. transparent. small. nor you. apple pathways Naked you are slender as a naked grain of wheat. subtle. So I love you because I know no other way than this: where I does not exist. As if down a long tunnel of clothing and of chores. in secret. till the day is born And you withdraw to the underground world. I love you as certain dark things are to be loved. Your clear light dims. so close that your hand on my chest is my hand. I love you straightforwardly. stealing my key to true calm. round. between the shadow and the soul. drops its leaves. You've moon-lines. Curved. thanks to your love a certain solid fragrance. gets dressed. or topaz or the arrow of carnations the fire shoots off. rosy. I love you as the plant that never blooms but carries in itself the light of hidden flowers. Smooth. earthy. or when. In this part of the story I am the one who Dies. in fire and blood. and the measure of my changing love for you Is that I do not see you but love you blindly. Love. so close that your eyes close as I fall asleep.Bend to you. Morning (Love Sonnet XXVII) by Pablo Neruda Naked you are simple as one of your hands.
Always there in different ways. Like conversations that could’ve happened. Crooked.wordpress. Author: giancantdance From giancantdance. There are never any lines anyway. The curve of a street. When I say I love you. None. And the world is round! No lines. I just follow this fist-around-a-pen the size of a heart. The hidden roads of my palm know the way home without pointing.There are no lines in this paper Only the crooked direction of hands. Honest. Poetry is a lie. Lines? I’m tired of their dishonesty. Or curved. Look outside your window: tired power lines sagging like elderly skin. There is no one road you can take around the world. but didn’t. Just a direction. it is not a line. The glaring absence of Geometry and its miracles.com .
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