Saturday, March 12, 2011

Walt Whitman, Complete Poems

Walt Whitman, The Complete Poems, Penguin Classics, Ed. Francis Murphy, 2004.

Of physiology form top to toe I sing,
Not physiognomy alone nor brain alone is worthy for the
Muse, I say the Form complete is worthier far,

(One’s-Self I Sing, 3-5, pg 38)

In cabin’d ships at sea,

By sailors young and old haply will I, a reminiscence of the land,
Be read,
In full rapport at last.
Here are our thoughts, voyagers’ thoughts,
… may then by them be said,
We feel the long pulsation, ebb and flow of endless motion,

The boundless vista and the horizon far and dim are all here,
And this is ocean’s poem.

(In Cabin’d Ships at Sea, pg 38)

We have watch’d the seasons dispensing themselves and passing on,
And have said, Why should not a man or woman do as much
as the seasons, and effuse as much?

(On Journeys through the Statesi, 45)

Stranger, if you passing meet me and desire to speak to me,
why should you not speak to me?
And why should I not speak to you?

(To You, 49)

I believe these are to found their own ideal of manly love,
indicating it in me,

(Starting from Paumanok, 53)

Omnes! Omnes! Let others ignore what they may,
I make the poem of evil also, I commemorate that part also,
I am myself just as much evil as good, and my nation is—
and I say there is in fact no evil,
(Or if there is I say it is just as important to you, to the land
or to me, as any thing else.)

(Starting from Paumanok, 54)

I say no man has ever yet been half devout enough,
None has ever yet adored or worship’d half enough,
None has begun to think how divine he himself is, and how
certain the future is.
I say that the real and permanent grandeur of these States
must be their religion,
Otherwise there is no real and permanent grandeur;

(Starting from Paumanok, 54)

Know you, solely to drop in the earth the germs of a greater
The following chants each for its kind I sing.
My comrade!
For you to share with me two greatnesses, and a third one
rising inclusive and more resplendent,
The greatness of Love and Democracy, and the greatness of

(Starting from Paumanok, 55)

As I have walk’d in Alabama my morning walk,
I have seen where the she-bird the mocking-bird sat on her
nest in the briers hatching her brood.
I have seen the he-bird also,
I have paus’d to hear him near at hand inflating his throat
and joyfully singing.
And while I paus’d it came to me that what he really sand
for was not there only,
Nor for his mate nor himself only, nor all sent back by the echoes,
But subtle, clandestine, away beyond,
A charge transmitted and gift occult for those being born.
Democracy! near at hand to you a throat is now inflating
itself and joyfully singing.

(Starting from Paumanok, 56-7)

No dainty dolce affettuoso I,
Bearded, sun-burnt, gray-neck’d, forbidding, I have arrived,
To be wrestled with as I pass for the solid prizes of the universe,

(Starting from Paumanok, 61)

I lean and loafe at my ease observing a spear of summer grass.

(Song of Myself, 63)

I believe in you’re 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, nor music or rhyme I want, not custom or
lecture, not even the best,
Only the lull I like, the hum of your valv[e]d 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.

(Song of Myself, 67)

A child said What is the grass? fetching it to me with full
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
Growing among black folks as among white,
Kanuck, Tuckahoe, Congressman, Cuff, I give them the
same, I receive them the same.

(Song of Myself, 68)

The wild gander leads his flock through the cool night,
Ya-honk he says, and sounds it down to me like an invitation,
The pert may suppose it meaningless, but I listening close,
Find its purpose and place up there toward the wintry sky.

(Song of Myself, 75)

I am enamour’d of growing out-doors,
Of men that live among cattle or taste of the ocean or woods,
Of the builders and steerers of ships and the wielders of
axes and mauls, and the drivers of horses,
I can eat and sleep with them week in and week out.

(Song of Myself, 75)

And such as it is to be of these more or less I am,
And of these one and all I weave the song of myself.

(Song of Myself, 79)

I do not trouble my spirit to vindicate itself or be understood,
I see that the elementary laws never apologize,
(I reckon I behave no prouder than the level I plant my
house by, after all.)

(Song of Myself, 83)

The pleasures of heaven are with me and the pains of hell
are with me,
The first I graft and increase upon myself, the latter I
Translate into a new tongue.

(Song of Myself, 83)

You sea! I resign myself to you also—I guess what you mean,
I behold from the beach your crooked inviting fingers,
I believe you refuse to go back without feeling me,
We must have a turn together, I undress, hurry me out of
sight of land,
Cushion me soft, rock me in billowy drowse,
Dash me with amorous wet, I can repay you.

(Song of Myself, 84)

I speak the pass-word primeval, I give the sign of democracy,
By God! I will accept nothing which all cannot have their
counterpart of on the same terms.

(Song of Myself, 87)

Divine am I inside and out, and I make holy whatever I
touch or am touch’d from,
The scent of these arm-pits aroma finer than prayer,

(Song of Myself, 87)

If I worship one thing more than another it shall be the
spread of my own body, or any part of it,

You sweaty brooks and dews it shall be you!
Winds whose soft-tickling genitals rub against me it shall be you!
Broad muscular fields, branches of live oak, loving lounger
in my winding paths, if shall be you!

(Song of Myself, 88)

All truths waiting in all things,
They neither hasten their own delivery nor resist it,
They do not need the obstetric forceps of the surgeon,
The insignificant is as big to me as any,
(What is less or more than a touch?)
Logic and sermons never convince,
The damp of the night drives deeper into my soul.
(Only what proves itself to every man and woman is so,
Only what nobody denies is so.)

(Song of Myself, 93)

To any one dying, thither I speed and twist the knob of the door,
Turn the bed-clothes toward the foot of the bed,
Let the physician and the priest go home.

(Song of Myself, 109)

O manhood, balanced, florid and full.

(Song of Myself, 116)

I tramp a perpetual journey, (come listen all!)
My signs are a rain-proof coat, good shoes, and a staff cut
from the woods,
No friend of mine takes his ease in my chair,
I have no chair, no church, no philosophy,
I lead no man to a dinner-table, library, exchange,
But each man and each woman of you I lead upon a knoll,
My left hand hooking you round the waist,
My right hand pointing to landscapes of continents and the
public road.

(Song of Myself, 118)

Long have you timidly waded holding a plank by the shore,
Now I will you to be a bold swimmer,
To jump off in the midst of the sea, rise again, nod to me,
shout, and laughingly dash with your hair.

(Song of Myself, 119)

I have said that the soul is not more than the body,
And I have said that the body is not more than the soul,
And nothing, not God, is greater to one than one’s self is,

And I say to mankind, Be not curious about God,
For I who am curious about each am not curious about God,

Why should I wish to see God better than this day?
I see something of God each hour of the twenty-four, and
each moment then,
In the faces of men and women I see God, and in my own
face in the glass,
I find letters from God dropt in the street, and every one is
sign’d by God’s name,
And I leave them where they are, for I know that
wheresoe’er I go,
Others will punctually come for ever and ever.

(Song of Myself, 121-2)

Do I contradict myself?
Very well then I contradict myself,
(I am large, I contain multitudes.)

(Song of Myself, 123)

Missing me one place search another,
I stop somewhere waiting for you.

(Song of Myself, 124)

This is the female form,
A divine nimbus exhales from it from head to foot,
It attracts with fierce undeniable attraction,

Ebb stung by the flow and stung by the ebb, love-flesh
swelling and deliciously aching,
limitless limpid jets of love hot and enormous, quivering
jelly of love, white-blow and delirious juice,
Bridegroom night of love working surely and softly into
the prostrate dawn,

(I Sing the Body Electric, 131)

As Adam early in the morning,
Walking forth from the bower refresh’d with sleep,
Behold me where I pass, hear my voice, approach,
Touch me, touch the palm of your hand to my body as I pass,
Be not afraid of my body.

(As Adam Early in the Morning, 145)

Of the terrible doubt of appearances,
Of the uncertainty after all, that we may be deluded,
That may-be reliance and hope are but speculations after all,
That may-be identity beyond the grave is a beautiful fable only,
May-be the things I perceive, the animals, plants, men, hills,
shining and flowing waters,
The skies of day and night, colors, densities, forms, may-be
these are (as doubtless they are) only apparitions, and the
real something has yet to be known,
(How often they dart out of themselves as if to confound me
and mock me!
How often I think neither I know, nor any man knows,
aught of them,)
May-be seeming to me what they are (as doubtless they
indeed but seem) as from my present point of view, and
might prove (as of course they would) nought of what they
appear, or nought anyhow, from entirely changed points
of view;
To me these and the like of these are curiously answer’d by
my lovers, my dear friends,
When he whom I love travels with me or sits a long while
holding me by the hand,
When the subtle air, the impalpable, the sense that words
and reason hold not, surround us and pervade us,
Then I am charged with untold and untellable wisdom, I am
silent, I require nothing further,
I cannot answer the question of appearances or that of
indentity beyond the grave,
But I walk or sit indifferent, I am satisfied,
He ahold of my hand has completely satisfied me.

(Of the Terrible Doubt of Appearances, 153)

Trickle drops! my blue veins leaving!
O drops of me! trickle, slow drops,
Candid from me falling, drip, bleeding drops,
From wounds made to free you whence you were prison’d,
From my face, from my forehead and lips,
From my breast, from within where I was conceal’d, press
forth red drops, confessing drops,
Stain every page, stain every song I sing, every word I say,
bloody drops,
Let them know your scarlet heat, let them glisten,
Saturate them with yourself all ashamed and wet,
Glow upon all I have written or shall write, bleeding drops,
Let it all be seen in your light, blushing drops.

(Trickle Drops, 157)

I do not offer the old smooth prizes, but offer rough new prizes,

(Song of the Open Road, 185)

Come Muse migrate from Greece and Iona,
Cross out please those immensely overpaid accounts,
That matter of Troy and Achilles’ wrath, and Aeneas’,
Odysseus’ wanderings,
Placard ‘Removed’ and ‘To let’ on the rocks of your snowy
Repeat at Jerusalem, place the notice high on Jaffa’s gate
and on Mount Moriah,
The same on the walls of your German, French and Spanish
castles, and Italian collections,
For know a better, fresher, busier sphere, a wide, untried
domain awaits, demands you.

(Song of the Exposition, 226)

Out of the cradle endlessly rocking,
Out of the mocking-bird’s throat, the musical shuttle,
Out of the Ninth-month midnight,
Over the sterile sands and the fields beyond, where the child
leaving his bed wander’d alone, bareheaded, barefoot,
Down form the shower’d halo,
Up from the mystic play of shadows twining and twisting
as if they were alive,
Out form the patches of briers and blackberries,
Form the memories of the bird that chanted to me,
From your memories sad brother, form the fitful risings and
fallings I heard,
From under that yellow half-moon late-risen and swollen
as if with tears,
From those beginning notes of yearning and love there in the mist,
From the thousand responses of my heart never to cease,
From the myriad thence-arous’d words,
From the word stronger and more delicious than any,
From such as now they start the scene revisiting,
As a flock, twittering, rising, or overhead passing,
Borne hither, ere all eludes me, hurriedly,
A man, yet by these tears a little boy again,
Throwing myself on the sand, confronting the waves,
I, chanter of pains and joys, uniter of here and hereafter,
Taking all hints to use them, but swiftly leaping beyond them,
A reminiscence sing.

(Out of the Cradle Endlessly Rocking, 275)

Soothe! soothe! soothe!
Close on its wave soothes the wave behind,
And again another behind embracing and lapping, every one close,
But my love soothes not me, not me.
Low hangs the moon, it rose late,
It is lagging—O I think it is heavy with love, with love.
O madly the sea pushes upon the land,
With love, with love.
O night! do I not see my love fluttering out among the breakers?
What is that little black thing I see there in the white?
Loud! loud! loud!
Loud I call to you, my love!
High and clear I shoot my voice over the waves,
Surely your must know who is here, is here,
You must know who I am, my love.
Low-hanging moon!
What is that dusky spot in your brown yellow?
O it is the shape, the shape of my mate!
O moon do not keep her from me any longer.
Land! land! O land!
Whichever way I turn, O I think you could give me my mate
back again if you only would,
For I am almost sure I see her dimly whichever way I look.
O rising stars!
Perhaps the one I want so much will rise, will rise with some of you.
O throat! O trembling thoat!
Sound clearer through the atmosphere!
Pierce the woods, the earth,
Somewhere listening to catch you must be the one I want.

(Out of the Cradle Endlessly Rocking, 277-8)

A word then, (for I will conquer it,)
The word final, superior to all,
Subtle, sent up—what is it?—I listen;
Are you whispering it, and have been all the time, you sea-waves?
Is that it from your liquid rims and wet sands?

Lisp’d to me the low and delicious word death,
And again death, death, death, death,
Hissing melodious, neither like the bird nor like my
arous’d child’s heart,

(Out of the Cradle Endlessly Rocking, 280)

To get betimes in Bosotn town I rose this morning early,
Here’s a good place at the corner, I must stand and see the show.
Clear the way there Jonathan!
Way for the President’s marshal—way for the government cannon!
Way for the Federal foot and dragoons, (and the apparitions
copiously tumbling.)
I love to look on the Stars and Stripes, I hope the fifes will
play Yankee Doodle.

(A Boston Ballad (1854), 292)

What you give me I cheerfully accept,
A little sustenance, a hut and garden, a little money, as I
rendezvous with my poems,
A traveler’s lodging and breakfast as I journey through the
States,--why should I be ashamed to own such gifts? why
to advertise for them?
For I myself am not one who bestows nothing upon man
and woman,
For I bestow upon any man or woman the entrance to all
the gifts of the universe.

(To Rich Givers, 300)

First O songs for a prelude,
Lightly strike on the stretch’d tympanum pride and joy in my city,
How she led the rest to arms, how she gave the cue,
How at once with lithe limbs unwaiting a moment she sprang,
(O superb! O Manhattan, my own, my peerless!
O strongest you in the hour of danger, in crisis! O truer than steel!)
How you sprang—how you threw off the costumes of peace
with indifferent hand,
How your soft opera-music changed, and the drum and
fife were heard in their stand,
How you led to the war, (that shall serve for our prelude,
songs of soldiers,)
How Manhattan drum-taps led.
Forty years had I in my city seen soldiers parading,
Forty years as a pageant, till unawares the lady of this
teeming and turbulent city,
Sleepless amid her ships, her houses, her incalculable wealth,
With her million children around her, suddenly,
At dead of night, at news form the south,
Incens’d struck with clinch’d hand the pavement.
A shock electric, the night sustain’d it,

(First O Songs for a Prelude, 304)

Arm’d year—year of the struggle,
No dainty rhymes or sentimental love verses for your terrible year,
Not you as some pale poetling seated at a desk lisping
cadenzas piano,
But as a strong man erect, clothed in blue clothes,
advancing, carrying a rifle on your shoulder,
With well-gristled body and sunburnt face and hands, with
a knife in the belt at your side,
As I heard you shouting loud, your sonorous voice ringing
across the continent,

(Eighteen Sixty-One, 307)

A march in the ranks hard-prest, and the road unknown,
A route through a heavy wood with muffled steps in the darkness,
Our army foil’d with loss severe, and the sullen remnant retreating,
Till after midnight glimmer upon us the lights of a
dim-lighted building,
We come to an open space in the woods, and halt by the
dim-lighted building,
’Tis a large old church at the crossing roads, now an
impromptu hospital,
Entering but for a minute I see a sight beyond all the
pictures and poems ever made,
Shadows of deepest, deepest black, just lit by moving
candles and lamps,
And by one great pitchy torch stationary with wild red flame
and clouds of smoke,
By these, crowds, groups of forms vaguely I see on the floor,
some in the pews laid down,
At my feet more distinctly a soldier, a mere lad, in danger of
bleeding to death, (he is shot in the abdomen,)
I stanch the blood temporarily, (the youngster’s face is white
as a lily,)
Then before I depart I sweep my eyes o’er the scene fain to
absorb it all,
Faces, varieties, postures beyond description, most in
obscurity, some of them dead,
Surgeons operating, attendants holding lights, the smell of
ether, the odor of blood,
The crowd, O the crowd of bloody forms, the yard
outside also fill’d,
Some on the bare ground, some on planks or stretchers,
some in the death-spasm sweating,
An occasional scream or cry, the doctor’s shouted orders or calls,
The glisten of the little steel instruments catching the glint
of the torches,
These I resume as I chant, I see again the forms, I smell the odor,
Then hear outside the orders given, Fall in, my men, fall in;
But first I bend to the dying lad, his eyes open, a half-smile
gives he me,
Then the eyes close, calmly close, and I speed forth to the darkness,
Resuming, marching, ever in darkness marching, on in the ranks,
The unknown roads still marching.

(A March in the Ranks Hard-Prest, and the Road Unknown, Complete, 330-1)

Not youth pertains to me,
Nor delicatesse, I cannot beguile the time with talk,
Awkward in the parlor, neither a dancer nor elegant,
In the learn’d coterie sitting constrain’d and still, for
learning inures not to me,
Beauty, knowledge, inure not to me—yet there are two or
three things inure to me,
I have nourish’d the wounded and sooth’d many a dying
And at intervals waiting or in the midst of camp,
Composed these songs.

(Not Youth Pertains to Me, Complete, 343)

Did you ask dulcet rhymes from me?
Did you seek the civilian’s peaceful and languishing rhymes?
Did you find what I sang erewhile so hard to follow?
Why I was not singing erewhile for you to follow, to
understand—nor am I now;
(I have been born of the same as the war was born,
The drum-corps’ rattle is ever to me sweet music, I love
well the martial dirge,
With slow wail and convulsive throb leading the officer’s funeral;)
What to such as you anyhow such a poet as I? therefore
leave my works,
And go lull yourself with what you can understand, and
with piano-tunes,
For I lull nobody, and you will never understand me.

(To a Certain Civilian, Complete, 347)

In the swamp in secluded recesses,
A shy and hidden bird is warbling a song.
Solitary the thrush,
The hermit withdrawn to himself, avoiding the settlements,
Sings by himself a song.
Song of the bleeding throat,
Death’s outlet song of life, (for well dear brother I know,
If thou was not granted to sing thou would’st surely die.)

(When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom’d, lines 18-25, pg 351-2)

...through old woods, where lately the violets
peep’d from the ground, …

(When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom’d, line 27, pg 352)

…I chant a song for you
O sane and sacred death.

(When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom’d, line 48, pg 353)

O how shall I warble myself for the dead one there I loved?
And how shall I deck my song for the large sweet soul that
has gone?
And what shall my perfume be for the grave of him I love?
Sea-winds blown from the east and west,
Blown from the Eastern sea and blown from the Western
sea, till there on the prairies meeting,
These are with these and the breath of my chant,
I’ll perfume the grave of him I love.

(When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom’d, lines 71-77, pg 354)

Lo, the most excellent sun so calm and haughty,
The violet and purple morn with just-felt breezes,
The gentle soft-born measureless light,
The miracle spreading bathing all, the fulfill’d noon,
The coming eve delicious, the welcome night and the stars,
Over my cities shining all, enveloping man and lan.

(When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom’d, lines 93-98, pg 355)

In the close of the day with its light and the fields of spring,
and the farmers preparing their crops,
In the large unconscious scenery of my land with its lakes
and forests,

(When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom’d, lines 109-110, pg 355)

Then with the knowledge of death as walking one side of me,
And the thought of death close-walking the other side of me,
And I in the middle as with companions, and as holding the
hands of companions,
I fled forth to the hiding receiving night that talks not,
Down to the shores of the water, the path by the swamp in
the dimness,
To the solemn shadowy cedars and ghostly pines so still.
And the singer so shy to the rest receiv’d me,
The gray-brown bird I know receiv’d us comrades three,
And he sang the carol of death, and a verse for him I love.

(When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom’d, lines 120-28, pg 356)

Prais’d be the fathomless universe,
For life and joy, and for objects and knowledge curious,
And for love, sweet love—but praise! praise! praise! praise!
For the sure-enwinding arms of cool-enfolding death.
Dark mother always gliding near with soft feet,
Have none chanted for thee a chant of fullest welcome?
Then I chant it for thee, I glorify thee above all,
I bring thee a song that when thou must indeed come, come

(When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom’d, lines 139-46, pg 357)

O captain! my Captain! our fearful trip is done,
The ship has weather’d every rack, the prize we sought is won,

But O heart! heart! heart!
O the bleeding drops of red,
Where on the deck my Captain lies,
Fallen cold and dead.

(O Captain! My Captain! 359-60)

O earth that hast no voice, confide to me a voice,
O harvest of my lands—O boundless summer growths,
O lavish brown parturient earth—O infinite teeming womb,
A song to narrate thee.
Ever upon this stage,
Is acted God’s calm annual drama,
Gorgeous processions, songs of birds,

The woods, the stalwart trees, the slender, tapering trees,
The liliput countless armies of the grass,
The heat, the showers, the measureless pasturages,
The scenery of the snows, the winds’ free orchestra,
The stretching light-hung roof of clouds, the clear cerulean
and the silvery fringes,

(The Return of the Heroes, 380-1)

Something startles me where I thought I was safest,
I withdraw from the still woods I loved,
I will not go now on the pastures to walk,
I will not strip the clothes from my body to meet my lover the sea
I will not touch my flesh to the earth as to other flesh to renew me.
O how can it be that the ground itself does not sicken?
How can you be alive you growth of spring?
How can you furnish health you blood of herbs, roots,
orchards, grain?
Are they not continually putting distemper’d corpses within you?
Is not every continent work’d over and over with sour dead?
Where have you disposed of their carcasses?
Those drunkards and gluttons of so many generations?
Where you have drawn off all the foul liquid and meat?
I do not see any of it upon you to-day, or perhaps I am deceiv’d,
I will run a furrow with my plough, I will press my spade
through the sod and turn it up underneath,
I am sure I shall expose some of the foul meat.
Behold this compost! behold it well!
Perhaps every mite has once form’d part of a sick person—
yet behold!
The grass of spring covers the prairies,
The bean bursts noiselessly though the mould in the garden,
The delicate spear of the onion pierces upward,
The apple-buds cluster together on the apple-branches,
The resurrection of the wheat appears with pale visage out
of its graves,
The tinge awakes over the willow-tree and the mulberry-tree,
The he-birds carol mornings and evenings while the
she-birds sit on their nests,
The young of poultry break through the hatch’d eggs,
The new-born of animals appear, the calf is dropt from the
cow, the colt from the mare,
Out of its little hill faithfully rise the potato’s dark green leaves,
Out of its hill rises the yellow maize-stalk, the lilacs bloom
in the dooryards,
The summer growth is innocent and disdainful above all
those strata of sour dead.
What chemistry!
That the winds are really not infectious,
That this is no cheat, this transparent green-wash of the sea
which is so amorous after me,
That it is safe to allow it to lick my naked body all over with
its tongues,
That it will not endanger me with the fevers that have
deposited themselves in it,
That all is clean forever and forever,
That the cool drink from the well tastes so good,
That blackberries are so flavorous and juicy,
That the fruits of the apple-orchard and the orange-orchard,
that melons, grapes, peaches, plums, will none of them poison me,
That when I recline on the grass I do not catch any disease,
Though probably every spear of grass rises out of what
was once a catching disease.
Now I am terrified at the Earth, it is that calm and patient,
It grows such sweet things out of such corruptions,
It turns harmless and stainless on its axis, with such endless
Successions of diseas’d corpses,
It distills such exquisite winds out of such infused fetor,
It renews with such unwitting looks its prodigal, annual,
sumptuous crops,
It gives such divine materials to men, and accepts such
leavings from them at last.

(This Compost, Complete 390-392)

Bees, butterflies, the sparrow with its simple notes,
Blue-bird and darting swallow, nor forget the high-hold
flashing his golden wings,

The maple woods, the crisp February days and the sugar-making,
The robin where he hops, bright-eyed, brown breasted,

(Warble for Lilac-Time, 400)

Be composed—be at ease with me—I am Walt Whitman,
liberal and lusty as Nature,
Not till the sun excludes you do I exclude you,
Not till the waters refuse to glisten for you and the leaves to
Rustle for you, do my words refuse to glisten and rustle for you.
My girl I appoint with you an appointment, and I charge
you that you make preparation to be worthy to meet me,
And I charge you that you be patient and perfect till I come.
Till then I salute you with a significant look that you do not
forget me.

(To a Common Prostitute, Complete, 408)

Let us go forth refresh’d amid the day,
Cheerfully tallying life, walking the world, the real,
Nourish’d henceforth by our celestial dream.

(Proud Music of the Storm, 427)


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