IN MEMORY OF
SANDS AT SEVENTY ... ist Annex,
GOOD-BYE MY FANCY .
. . 2d Annex,
A BACKWARD GLANCE O ER TRAVELED ROADS,
and Portrait from Life.
COME, said my Soul,
Such verses for my Body let us write, (for we are one,)
That should I after death invisibly return,
Or, long, long hence, in other spheres,
There to some group of mates the chants resuming,
(Tallying Earth s soil, trees, winds, tumultuous waves,)
Ever with pleas d smile I may keep on,
Ever and ever yet the verses owning as, first, I here and now,
Signing for Soul and Body, set to them my name,
DAVID MCKAY, PUBLISHER
1022 MARKET STREET.
1st ed n 1855, Brooklyn (N. Y., South District) renew d (1883) I4yr$.
2d ed n 1856, Brooklyn renew d (1884) 14 yrs.
3d ed n 1860, Boston, Thayer & Eldridge Pub rs.
4th ed n 1867, N. Y., So. Dist. : Pub d New York.
5th ed n 1871, Washington, D. C.
6th ed n 1876 Centennial issue inc d g Two RIVULETS: two vols.
7th ed n 1881, Boston, Mass. : Osgood Pub. : [This includes in the present
vol. pages -i to 382.]
8th ed n 1882, Philadelphia: McKay Pub r.
Sands at Seventy : Annex, 1888 November Boughs Philadelphia.
A Backward Glance, &c. : November Boughs, 1888 Philadelphia.
Good-Bye my Fancy : 2d Annex, 1891 Philadelphia.
Library of Congress Copyright Office, Washington.
No. 18382 W.
To wit : Be it remembered . . . That on the igth day of May, anno Domini, 1891, Walt
Whitman, of Camden, N. I., has deposited in this office the ti lc of a Book, the title or descrip
tion of which is in the following words, to wit :
GOOD-BYE MY FANCY,
id Annex to Leaves of Grass.
Philadelphia . . . David McKay . . . 1891.
The right whereof he claims as author, in conformity with the laws of the United States
A. R. SPOFFORD,
Librarian of Congress.
[Which last-named copyright (holding good to 1919 then, on application,
continued 14 years further) expires May 19, 1933.]
As there are now several editions of L. of G., different texts and
dates, I wish to say that I prefer and recommend this present one, complete,
for future printing, if there should be any; a copy and fac-simile, indeed, of
the text of these 438 pages. The subsequent adjusting interval which is so
important to form d and launch d work, books especially, has pass d ; and
waiting till fully after that, I have given (pages 423-438) my concluding
words. W. W.
ONE S-SELF I SING , 9
As I PONDER D IN SILENCE 9
IN CABIN D SHIPS AT SEA 10
To FOREIGN LANDS n
To A HISTORIAN n
To THEE OLD CAUSE n
FOR HIM I SING 14
WHEN I READ THE BOOK 14
BEGINNING MY STUDIES 14
To THE STATES 15
ON JOURNEYS THROUGH THE STATES 15
To A CERTAIN CANTATRICE 16
ME IMPERTURBE 16
THE SHIP STARTING 16
I HEAR AMERICA SINGING 17
WHAT PLACE is BESIEGED ? 17
STILL THOUGH THE ONE I SING 17
SHUT NOT YOUR DOORS 17
POETS TO COME 18
To You 18
THOU READER 18
STARTING FROM PAUMANOK 18
SONG OF MYSELF 29
CHILDREN OF ADAM.
To THE GARDEN THE WORLD 79
FROM PENT-UP ACHING RIVERS 79
I SING THE BODY ELECTRIC 81
A WOMAN WAITS FOR ME 88
SPONTANEOUS ME 89
ONE HOUR TO MADNESS AND JOY 91
OUT OF THE ROLLING OCEAN THE CROWD .... 92
AGES AND AGES RETURNING AT INTERVALS .... 92
WE Two, How LONG WE WERE FOOL D 93
HYMEN ! O HYMENEE ! 93
1 AM HE THAT ACHES WITH LOVE 93
NATIVE MOMENTS . . . . . . . . 94
ONCE I PASS D THROUGH A POPULOUS CITY . . . .94
I HEARD You SOLEMN-SWEET PIPES OF THE ORGAN . . 94
FACING WEST FROM CALIFORNIA S SHORES .... 95
As ADAM EARLY IN THE MORNING 95
IN PATHS UNTRODDEN 95
SCENTED HERBAGE OF MY BREAST 96
WHOEVER You ARE HOLDING ME Now IN HAND ... 97
FOR You O DEMOCRACY ........ 99
THESE I SINGING IN SPRING 99
NOT HEAVING FROM MY RIBB D BREAST ONLY ... 100
OF THE TERRIBLE DOUBT OF APPEARANCES 101
THE BASE OF ALL METAPHYSICS 101
RECORDERS AGES HENCE 102
WHEN I HEARD AT THE CLOSE OF THE DAY . . . 102
ARE You THE NEW PERSON DRAWN TOWARD ME?. . . 103
ROOTS AND LEAVES THEMSELVES ALONE . . . . 103
NOT HEAT FLAMES UP AND CONSUMES 104
TRICKLE DROPS 104
CITY OF ORGIES 105
BEHOLD THIS SWARTHY FACE 105
I SAW IN LOUISIANA A LIVE-OAK GROWING icx
To A STRANGER 100
THIS MOMENT YEARNING AND THOUGHTFUL . . . . 106
I HEAR IT WAS CHARGED AGAINST ME 107
THE PRAIRIE-GRASS DIVIDING 107
WHEN I PERUSE THE CONQUER D FAME .... 107
WE Two BOYS TOGETHER CLINGING 108
A PROMISE TO CALIFORNIA 108
HERE THE FRAILEST LEAVES OF ME 108
No LABOR-SAVING MACHINE 108
A GLIMPSE 109
A LEAF FOR HAND IN HAND 109
EARTH MY LIKENESS 109
I DREAM D IN A DREAM 109
WHAT THINK You I TAKE MY PEN IN HAND? . . no
To THE EAST AND TO THE WEST no
SOMETIMES WITH ONE I LOVE no
To A WESTERN BOY no
FAST-ANCHOR D ETERNAL O LOVE in
AMONG THE MULTITUDE in
O You WHOM I OFTEN AND SILENTLY COME . . . in
THAT SHADOW MY LIKENESS in
FULL OF LIFE NOW in
SALUT AU MONDE! 112
SONG OF THE OPEN ROAD . 120
CROSSING BROOKLYN FERRY 129
SONG OF THE ANSWERER . 134
OUR OLD FEUILLAGE 138
A SONG OF JOYS 142
SONG OF THE BROAD-AXE 148
SONG OF THE EXPOSITION 15?
SONG OF THE REDWOOD-TREE 165
A SONG FOR OCCUPATIONS 169
A SONG OF THE ROLLING EARTH 176
YOUTH, DAY, OLD AGE, AND NIGHT 180
Bl%DS OP PASSAGE.
* SONG OF THE UNIVERSAL 181
PIONEERS! O PIONEERS! 183
To You 186
BIRDS OP PASSAGE. PAGE
FRANCE THE i8TH YEAR OF THESE STATES .... 188
MYSELF AND MINE 189
YEAR OF METEORS (1859-60) 190
WITH ANTECEDENTS 191
A BROADWAY PAGEANT 193
OUT OF THE CRADLE ENDLESSLY ROCKING .... 196
As I EBB D WITH THE OCEAN OF LIFE 202
To THE MAN-OF-WAR-BIRD 204
ABOARD AT A SHIP S HELM 205
ON THE BEACH AT NIGHT 205
THE WORLD BELOW THE BRINE 206
ON THE BEACH AT NIGHT ALONE 207
SONG FOR ALL SEAS, ALL SHIPS 207
PATROLING BARNEGAT 208
AFTER THE SEA-SHIP 209
BY THE ROADSIDE.
A BOSTON BALLAD 1854 209
EUROPE THE 720 AND 730 YEARS OF THESE STATES . .211
A HAND-MIRROR . 213
WHEN I HEARD THE LEARN D ASTRONOMER . . . 214
ME! O LIFE! 215
To A PRESIDENT 215
1 SIT AND LOOK OUT 215
To RICH GIVERS 216
THE DALLIANCE OF THE EAGLES 216
ROAMING IN THOUGHT 216
A FARM PICTURE 216
A CHILD S AMAZE 217
THE RUNNER 217
BEAUTIFUL WOMEN 217
MOTHER AND BABE 217
VISOR D -217
GLIDING O ER ALL 218
HAST NEVER COME TO THEE AN HOUR 218
To OLD AGE 218
LOCATIONS AND TIMES 218
To IDENTIFY THE i6TH, I7TH OR i8TH PRESIDENTIAD . . 218
FIRST O SONGS FOR A PRELUDE 219
EIGHTEEN SIXTY-ONE ........ 221
BEAT! BEAT! DRUMS! ... 222
FROM PAUMANOK STARTING I FLY LIKE A BIRD . . . 222
SONG OF THE BANNER AT DAYBREAK 221
RISE O DAYS FROM YOUR FATHOMLESS DEEPS . . . 228
VIRGINIA THE WEST 230
CITY OF SHIPS 230
THE CENTENARIAN S STORY 231
CAVALRY CROSSING A FORD 235
BIVOUAC ON A MOUNTAIN SIDE 235
AN ARMY CORPS ON THE MARCH 236
BY THE BIVOUAC S FITFUL FLAME 236
COME UP FROM THE FIELDS FATHER 236
VIGIL STRANGE I KEPT ON THE FIELD ONE NIGHT . . 238
A MARCH IN THE RANKS HARD-PREST ..... 239
A SIGHT IN CAMP IN THE DAYBREAK GRAY AND DIM . 240
As TOILSOME I WANDER D VIRGINIA S WOODS . . . 240
NOT THE PILOT 241
YEAR THAT TREMBLED AND REEL D BENEATH ME . . .241
THE WOUND-DRESSER 241
LONG, TOO LONG AMERICA 244
GIVE ME THE SPLENDID SILENT SUN 244
DIRGE FOR Two VETERANS 246
OVER THE CARNAGE ROSE PROPHETIC A VOICE ... 247
I SAW OLD GENERAL AT BAY 247
THE ARTILLERYMAN S VISION 248
ETHIOPIA SALUTING THE COLORS 249
NOT YOUTH PERTAINS TO ME 249
RACE OF VETERANS 250
WORLD TAKE GOOD NOTICE 250
O TAN-FACED PRAIRIE-BOY 250
LOOK DOWN FAIR MOON . . . . . . . . 250
How SOLEMN AS ONE BY ONE 251
As I LAY WITH MY HEAD IN YOUR LAP CAMERADO . . 251
DELICATE CLUSTER 252
To A CERTAIN CIVILIAN 252
Lo, VICTRESS ON THE PEAKS 252
SPIRIT WHOSE WORK is DONE 253
ADIEU TO A SOLDIER 253
TURN O LIBERTAD 254
To THE LEAVEN D SOIL THEY TROD 254
MEMORIES OP PRESIDENT LINCOLN.
WHEN LILACS LAST IN THE DOORYARD BLOOM D . . . 255
O CAPTAIN, MY CAPTAIN 262
HUSH D BE THE CAMPS TO-DAY 263
THIS DUST WAS ONCE THE MAN 263
BY BLUE ONTARIO S SHORE 264
As CONSEQUENT 277
THE RETURN OF THE HEROES 278
THERE WAS A CHILD WENT FORTH 282
OLD IRELAND 284
THE CITY DEAD-HOUSE 284
THIS COMPOST 285
To A FOIL D EUROPEAN REVOLUTIONAIRE 287
UNNAMED LANDS 288
SONG OF PRUDENCE .... ..... 289
AUTUMN RIVULETS. PAGE
THE SINGER IN THE PRISON 292
WARBLE FOR LILAC-TIME 293
OUTLINES FOR A TOMB 294
OUT FROM BEHIND THIS MASK 296
To HIM THAT WAS CRUCIFIED 298
You FELONS ON TRIAL IN COURTS 298
LAWS FOR CREATIONS 299
To A COMMON PROSTITUTE 299
I WAS LOOKING A LONG WHILE 300
MIRACLES 3 O1
SPARKLES FROM THE WHEEL 3 01
To A PUPIL 3 02
UNFOLDED OUT OF THE FOLDS 302
WHAT AM I AFTER ALL 33
OTHERS MAY PRAISE WHAT THEY LIKE 304
WHO LEARNS MY LESSON COMPLETE 304
THE TORCH 35
O STAR OF FRANCE (1870-71) 36
THE OX-TAMER 307
AN OLD MAN S THOUGHT OF SCHOOL 308
WANDERING AT MORN 308
ITALIAN Music IN DAKOTA 309
WITH ALL THY GIFTS 309
MY PICTURE-GALLERY 310
THE PRAIRIE STATES 310
PROUD Music OF THE STORM 310 s
PASSAGE TO INDIA 3 I 5\/
PRAYER OF COLUMBUS 323
THE SLEEPERS 3 2 5
TRANSPOSITIONS 33 2
To THINK OF TIME 333
WHISPERS OP HEAVENLY DEATH.
BAREST THOU Now O SOUL 338
WHISPERS OF HEAVENLY DEATH 338
CHANTING THE SQUARE DEIFIC 339
OF HIM I LOVE DAY AND NIGHT 340
YET, YET, YE DOWNCAST HOURS 34 1
As IF A PHANTOM CARESS D ME 341
QUICKSAND YEARS 342
THAT Music ALWAYS ROUND ME 343
WHAT SHIP PUZZLED AT SEA 343
A NOISELESS PATIENT SPIDER 343
O LIVING ALWAYS, ALWAYS DYING 344
To ONE SHORTLY TO DIE 344
NIGHT ON THE PRAIRIES 344
THE LAST INVOCATION 34&
As I WATCH D THE PLOUGHMAN PLOUGHING . . . 346
PENSIVE AND FALTERING 346
THOU MOTHER WITH THY EQUAL BROOD 346
A PAUMANOK PICTURE 351
FROM NOON TO STARRY NIGHT.
THOU ORB ALOFT FULL-DAZZLING 352
THE MYSTIC TRUMPETER 356
To A LOCOMOTIVE IN WINTER 358
O MAGNET-SOUTH 359
ALL is TRUTH 361
A RIDDLE SONG 362
AH POVERTIES, WINCINGS, AND SULKY RETREATS . . 364
WEAVE IN, MY HARDY LIFE 365
SPAIN, 1873-74 365
BY BROAD POTOMAC S SHORE 366
FROM FAR DAKOTA S CANONS (JUNE 25, 1876) ... 366
OLD WAR-DREAMS 367
THICK-SPRINKLED BUNTING 367
WHAT BEST I SEE IN THEE 368
SPIRIT THAT FORM D THIS SCENE 368
As I WALK THESE BROAD MAJESTIC DAYS .... 369
A CLEAR MIDNIGHT 369
SONGS OP PARTING.
As THE TIME DRAWS NIGH. . . ... . . . 370
YEARS OF THE MODERN 370
ASHES OF SOLDIERS 371
SONG AT SUNSET 37^
As AT THY PORTALS ALSO DEATH 376
MY LEGACY 376
PENSIVE ON HER DEAD GAZING 377
CAMPS OF GREEN 377
THE SOBBING OF THE BELLS 378
As THEY DRAW TO A CLOSE 379
JOY, SHIPMATE, JOY 379
THE UNTOLD WANT 379
THESE CAROLS . 379
Now FINALE TO THE SHORE 380
So LONG ! 380
1st Annex, SANDS AT SEVENTY.
WITH INDEX OF CONTENTS ...... 383
Id Annex, GOOD-BYE MY FANCY.
WITH INDEX OF CONTENTS 405
A BACKWARD GLANCE O ER TRAVEL D ROADS . . . 423
ONE S-SELF I SING.
*S-SELF I sing, a simple separate person,
utter the word Democratic, the word En-Masse.
Of physiology from top to toe I sing,
Not physiognomy alone nor brain alone is worthy for the Muse, I
say the Form complete is worthier far,
The Female equally with the Male I sing.
Of JJfe jmmense in passion, pulse, and power,
Cheerful, for freest action form d under the laws divine,
The Modern Man I sing.
AS I PONDER D IN SILENCE.
As I ponder d in silence,
Returning upon my poems, considering, lingering long,
A Phantom arose before me with distrustful aspect,
Terrible in beauty, age, and power,
The genius of poets of old lands,
As to me directing like flame its eyes,
With finger pointing to many immortal songs,
And menacing voice, What singest thou ? it said,
Know st thou not there is but one theme for ever-enduring bards /
And that is the theme of War, the fortune of battles y
The making of perfect soldiers.
Be it so, then I answer d,
/ too haughty Shade also sing war, and a longer and greater ont
Waged in my book with varying fortune, with flight, advance and
retreat, victory deferred and wavering,
IO LEAVES OF GRASS.
( Yet me thinks certain, or as good as certain, at the last,) the field
For life and death, for the Body and for the eternal Soul,
Lo, I too am come, chanting the chant of battles t
I above all promote brave soldiers.
IN CABIN D SHIPS AT SEA.
IN cabin d ships at sea,
The boundless blue on every side expanding,
With whistling winds and music of the waves, the large imperious
Or some lone bark buoy d on the dense marine,
Where joyous full of faith, spreading white sails,
She cleaves the ether mid the sparkle and the foam of day, or
under many a star at night,
By sailors young and old haply will I, a reminiscence of the land,
In full rapport at last.
Here are our thoughts, voyagers * thoughts,
Here not the land, firm land, alone appears, may then by them be
The sky overarches here, we feel the undulating deck beneath our
We feel the long pulsation, ebb and flow of endless motion,
The tones of unseen mystery, the vague and vast suggestions of the
briny world, the liquid-flowing syllables,
The perfume, the faint creaking of the cordage, the melancholy
The boundless vista and the horizon far and dim are all here,
And this is ocean s poem.
Then falter not O book, fulfil your destiny,
You not a reminiscence of the land alone,
You too as a lone bark cleaving the ether, purpos d I know not
whither, yet ever full of faith,
Consort to every ship that sails, sail you !
Bear forth to them folded my love, (dear mariners, for you I fold
it here in every leaf;)
Speed on my book ! spread your white sails my little bark athwart
the imperious waves,
Chant on, sail on, bear o er the boundless blue from me to every
This song for mariners and all their ships.
INSCRIPTIONS. 1 1
TO FOREIGN LANDS.
I HEARD that you ask d for something to prove this puzzle the New
And to define America, her athletic Democracy,
Therefore I send you my poems that you behold in them what you
TO A HISTORIAN.
You who celebrate bygones,
Who have explored the outward, the surfaces of the races, the life
that has exhibited itself,
Who have treated of man as the creature of politics, aggregates,
rulers and priests,
I, habitan of the Alleghanies, treating of him as he is in himself
in his own rights,
Pressing the pulse of the life that has seldom exhibited itself, (the
great pride of man in himself,)
Chanter of Personality, outlining what is yet to be,
I project the history of the future.
TO THEE OLD CAUSE.
To thee old cause !
Thou peerless, passionate, good cause,
Thou stern, remorseless, sweet idea,
Deathless throughout the ages, races, lands,
After a strange sad war, great war for thee,
(I think all war through time was really fought, and ever will be
really fought, for thee,)
These chants for thee, the eternal march of thee.
(A war O soldiers not for itself alone,
Far, far more stood silently waiting behind, now to advance in
Thou orb of many orbs !
Thou seething principle ! thou well-kept, latent germ ! thou centre !
Around the idea of thee the war revolving,
With all its angry and vehement play of causes,
(With vast results to come for thrice a thousand years,)
These recitatives for thee, my book and the war are one,
Merged in its spirit I and mine, as the contest hinged on thee,
As a wheel on its axis turns, this book unwitting to itself,
Around the idea of thee.
12 LEAVES OF GRASS.
I MET a seer,
Passing the hues and objects of the world,
The fields of art and learning, pleasure, sense,
To glean eid61ons.
Put in thy chants said he,
No more the puzzling hour nor day, nor segments, parts, put in,
Put first before the rest as light for all and entrance-song of all,
That of eiddlons.
Ever the dim beginning,
Ever the growth, the rounding of the circle,
Ever the summit and the merge at last, (to surely start again,)
Eid61ons ! eid61ons !
Ever the mutable,
Ever materials, changing, crumbling, re-cohering,
Ever the ateliers, the factories divine,
Lo, I or you,
Or woman, man, or state, known or unknown.
We seeming solid wealth, strength, beauty build,
But really build eid61ons.
The ostent evanescent,
The substance of an artist s mood or savan s studies long,
Or warrior s, martyr s, hero s toils,
To fashion his eid61on.
Of every human life,
(The units gather d, posted, not a thought, emotion, deed, left out,
The whole or large or small summ d, added up,
In its eid61on.
The old, old urge,
Based on the ancient pinnacles, lo, newer, higher pinnacles,
From science and the modern still impell d,
The old, old urge, eid61ons.
The present now and here,
America s busy, teeming, intricate whirl,
Of aggregate and segregate for only thence releasing,
To-day s eid61ons.
INSCRIPTIONS. 1 3
These with the past,
Of vanish d lands, of all the reigns of kings across the sea,
Old conquerors, old campaigns, old sailors voyages,
Densities, growth, facades,
Strata of mountains, soils, rocks, giant trees,
Far-born, far-dying, living long, to leave,
Exalte, rapt, ecstatic,
The visible but their womb of birth,
Of orbic tendencies to shape and shape and shape,
The mighty earth-eid61on.
All space, all time,
(The stars, the terrible perturbations of the suns,
Swelling, collapsing, ending, serving their longer, shorter use,)
Fill d with eid61ons only.
The noiseless myriads,
The infinite oceans where the rivers empty,
The separate countless free identities, like eyesight,
The true realities, eid61ons.
Not this the world,
Nor these the universes, they the universes,
Purport and end, ever the permanent life of life,
Beyond thy lectures learn d professor,
Beyond thy telescope or spectroscope observer keen, beyond all
Beyond the doctor s surgery, anatomy, beyond the chemist with
The entities of entities, eid61ons.
Unfix d yet fix d,
Ever shall be, ever have been and are,
Sweeping the present to the infinite future,
Eid61ons, eid61ons, eid61ons.
The prophet and the bard,
Shall yet maintain themselves, in higher stages yet,
Shall mediate to the Modern, to Democracy, interpret yet to them,
God and eid61ons.
14 LEAVES OF GRASS.
And thee my soul,
Joys, ceaseless exercises, exaltations,
Thy yearning amply fed at last, prepared to meet,
Thy mates, eid61ons.
Thy body permanent,
The body lurking there within thy body,
The only purport of the form thou art, the real I myself
An image, an eid61on.
Thy very songs not in thy songs,
No special strains to sing, none for itself,
But from the whole resulting, rising at last and floating,
A round full-orb d eid61on.
FOR HIM I SING.
FOR him I sing,
I raise the present on the past,
(As some perennial tree out of its roots, the present on the past,)
With time and space I him dilate and fuse the immortal laws,
To make himself by them the law unto himself.
WHEN I READ THE BOOK.
WHEN I read the book, the biography famous,
And is this then (said I) what the author calls a man s life?
And so will some one when I am dead and gone write my life?
(As if any man really knew aught of my life,
Why even I myself I often think know little or nothing of my real
Only a few hints, a few diffused faint clews and indirections
I seek for my own use to trace out here.)
BEGINNING MY STUDIES.
BEGINNING my studies the first step pleas d me so much,
The mere fact consciousness, these forms, the power of motion,
The least insect or animal, the senses, eyesight, love,
The first step I say awed me and pleas d me so much,
I have hardly gone and hardly wish d to go any farther,
But stop and loiter all the time to sing it in ecstatic songs.
IN SCRIP TIONS. 1 5
How they are provided for upon the earth, (appearing at inter
How dear and dreadful they are to the earth,
How they inure to themselves as much as to any what a paradox
appears their age,
How people respond to them, yet know them not,
How there is something relentless in their fate all times,
How all times mischoose the objects of their adulation and re
And how the same inexorable price must still be paid for the same
TO THE STATES.
To the States or any one of them, or any city of the States, Resist
much, obey little,
Once unquestioning obedience, once fully enslaved,
Once fully enslaved, no nation, state, city of this earth, ever after
ward resumes its liberty.
ON JOURNEYS THROUGH THE STATES.
ON journeys through the States we start,
(Ay through the world, urged by these songs,
Sailing henceforth to every land, to every sea,)
We willing learners of all, teachers of all, and lovers of all.
We have watch d the seasons dispensing themselves and passing
And have said, Why should not a man or woman do as much as
the seasons, and effuse as much?
We dwell a while in every city and town,
We pass through Kanada, the North-east, the vast valley of the
Mississippi, and the Southern States,
We confer on equal terms with each of the States,
We make trial of ourselves and invite men and women to hear,
We say to ourselves, Remember, fear not, be candid, promulge the
body and the soul,
Dwell a while and pass on, be copious, temperate, chaste, mag
And what you effuse may then return as the seasons return,
And may be just as much as the seasons.
1 6 LEAVES OF GRASS.
TO A CERTAIN CANTATRICE.
HERE, take this gift,
I was reserving it for some hero, speaker, or general,
One who should serve the good old cause, the great idea, the prog
ress and freedom of the race,
Some brave confronter of despots, some daring rebel ;
But I see that what I was reserving belongs to you just as much as
ME imperturbe, standing at ease in Nature,
Master of all or mistress of all, aplomb in the midst of irrational
Imbued as they, passive, receptive, silent as they,
Finding my occupation, poverty, notoriety, foibles, crimes, less im
portant than I thought,
Me toward the Mexican sea, or in the Mannahatta or the Tennes
see, or far north or inland,
A river man, or a man of the woods or of any farm-life of these
States or of the coast, or the lakes or Kanada, .
Me wherever my life is lived, O to be self-balanced for contingen
To confront night, storms, hunger, ridicule, accidents, rebuffs, as
the trees and animals do.
THITHER as I look I see each result and glory retracing itself and
nestling close, always obligated,
Thither hours, months, years thither trades, compacts, establish
ments, even the most minute,
Thither every-day life, speech, utensils, politics, persons, estates ;
Thither we also, I with my leaves and songs, trustful, admirant,
As a father to his father going takes his children along with him.
THE SHIP STARTING.
Lo, the unbounded sea,
On its breast a ship starting, spreading all sails, carrying even her
The pennant is flying aloft as she speeds she speeds so stately
below emulous waves press forward,
They surround the ship with shining curving motions and foam.
I HEAR AMERICA SINGING.
I HEAR America singing, the varied carols I hear,
Those of mechanics, each one singing his as it should be blithe
The carpenter singing his as he measures his plank or beam,
The mason singing his as he makes ready for work, or leaves off
The boatman singing what belongs to him in his boat, the deck
hand singing on the steamboat deck,
The shoemaker singing as he sits on liis bench, the hatter singing
as he stands,
The wood-cutter s song, the ploughboy s on his way in the morn
ing, or at noon intermission or at sundown,
The delicious singing of the mother, or of the young wife at work,