Mrs. Edwin Grabhorn
SANDS AT SEVENTY ... ist Annex,
GOOD-BYE MY FANCY . . . 2d Annex,
A BACKWARD GLANCE O'ER TRAVEL/D 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
23 SOUTH NINTH STREET
1st ed'n 1855, Brooklyn (N. Y., South District) renew' d (1883) 14 yrs.
2d ed'n 1856, Brooklyn renew'd (1884) '4 y r s.
3d ed'n 1860, Boston, Thayer & Eldridge Pub'rs.
4 th 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, iSgi.Walt
Whitman, of Camden, N. J., has deposited in this office the ti.le 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.
L \Vhich 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.
INSCRIPTIONS. ^ PAGE
ONE'S-SELF I SING 3 ^9*
As I PONDER'D IN SILENCE V . g \
IN CABIN'D SHIPS AT SEA v; 10
To FOREIGN LANDS Jj n
To A HISTORIAN S n
To THEE OLD CAUSE C n
EIDOLONS b . 12
FOR HIM I SING*? 14
WHEN I READ THE BOOK? 14
BEGINNING MY STUDIES * 14
BEGINNERS t . 15
To THE STATES^ 15
ON JOURNEYS THROUGH THE STATES /^ 15
To A CERTAIN CANTATRICE / 16
ME IMPERTURBE ^ 16
SAVANTISM ,/ f 16
THE SHIP STARTING //. 16
I HEAR AMERICA SINGING //. 17
WHAT PLACE is BESIEGED? / .2- 17
STILL THOUGH THE ONE I SING 17
SHUT NOT YOUR DOORS - 17
POETS TO COME .'' - - 18
To You /.^ 18
THOU READER C 18
STARTING FROM PAUMANOK/J 18
SONG OF MYSELF # ty 29
CHILDREN OP ADAM. 7-*
To THE GARDEN THE WORLD 79
FROM PENT-UP ACHING RIVERS " * 79
I SING THE BODY ELECTRIC 7*? 81
A WOMAN WAITS FOR ME *.Y 88
SPONTANEOUS ME .85 89
ONE HOUR TO MADNESS AND JOY $7 91
OUT OF THE ROLLING OCEAN THE CROWD &5. ... 92
AGES AND AGES RETURNING AT INTERVALS ; ^ . . . 92
WE Two, How LONG WE WERE FOOL'D . S i . . . . 93
HYMEN! O HYMENEE!.V- 93
1 AM HE THAT ACHES WITH LOVE y? . . . . . 93
NATIVE MOMENTS '; . . . . . . 94
ONCE I PASS'D THROUGH A POPULOUS CITY "4 . . . 94
I HEARD You SOLEMN-SWEET PIPES OF THE ORGAN ^ . 94
FACING WEST FROM CALIFORNIA'S SHORES "7 P . 95
As ADAM EARLY IN THE MORNING . $ l . . 95
IN PATHS UNTRODDEN . ."%... .' . . . 95
SCENTED HERBAGE OF MY BREAST. 93 96
WHOEVER You ARE HOLDING ME Now IN HAND .? . . 97
FOR You O DEMOCRACY . ?5 99
THESE I SINGING IN SPRING 96 99
NOT HEAVING FROM MY RIBB'D BREAST ONLY 17 ' . . 100
OF THE TERRIBLE DOUBT OF APPEARANCES i7 . . . 101
THE BASE OF ALL METAPHYSICS .* * 101
RECORDERS AGES HENCE . . ? 102
WHEN I HEARD AT THE CLOSE OF THE DAY ^9 , . 102
ARE You THE NEW PERSON DRAWN TOWARD ME?.?? . . 103
ROOTS AND LEAVES THEMSELVES ALONE \Q6. . . .' 103
NOT HEAT FLAMES UP AND CONSUMES 'o . . . . 104
TRICKLE DROPS fco. 104
CITY OF ORGIES [l .... 105
BEHOLD THIS SWARTHY FACE. . . '/. . . . 105
I SAW IN LOUISIANA A LIVE-OAK GROWING '' . . . 105
To A STRANGER 10 2. . . 106
THIS MOMENT YEARNING AND THOUGHTFUL '/* .106
I HEAR IT WAS CHARGED AGAINST ME . . /0 3 . . 107
THE PRAIRIE-GRASS DIVIDING . . '* . . .107
WHEN I PERUSE THE CONQUER'D FAME *V4A I0 7
WE Two BOYS TOGETHER CLINGING . . //>3 . . .108
A PROMISE TO CALIFORNIA . . . J^i. . . 108
HERE THE FRAILEST LEAVES OF ME . ,.-'/* V . . . 108
No LABOR-SAVING MACHINE . . . . ^. . . 108
A GLIMPSE . . . J<a^ 109
A LEAF FOR HAND IN HAND JQ> 109
EARTH MY LIKENESS . . '5 109
I DREAM'D IN A DREAM . j a ^ 109
WHAT THINK You I TAKE MY PEN IN HAND? /fl 5 . . no
To THE EAST AND TO THE WEST . I & . . . . no
SOMETIMES WITH ONE I LOVE . J-' 1 ^ no
To A WESTERN BOY . . . '*6 . . . no
FAST-ANCHOR'D ETERNAL O LOVE .& in
AMONG THE MULTITUDE . . . l d > . . . . 111
O You WHOM I OFTEN AND SILENTLY COME Jd7. . . in
THAT SHADOW MY LIKENESS . . . ^07. . . in
FULL OF LIFE NOW J0.7 . . . in
(f SALUT AU MONDE! . . /.# 112
7 SONG OF THE OPEN ROAD . 120
"% CROSSING BROOKLYN FERRY . 129
a SONG OF THE ANSWERER 134
/xJ OUR OLD FEUILLAGE 138
// A SONG OF JOYS 142
li. SONG OF THE BROAD-AXE 148
/3 SONG OF THE EXPOSITION 157
t*i SONG OF THE REDWOOD-TREE 165
'5 A SONG FOR OCCUPATIONS 169
/4 A SONG OF THE ROLLING EARTH 176
*~V^*Y. PIP ^- p i *"-y^ i So
17 BIRDS OP'PASSA'GE.
SONG OF THE UNIVERSAL ......... 181
PIONEERS ! O PIONEERS 1 183
To You ... 186
BIRDS OF 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 i8ra PRESIDENTIAD . . 218
DR UM- TAPS.% C.
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 or THE BANNER AT DAYBREAK 223
RISE O PAYS FROM YOUR FATHOMLESS DEEPS , 238
VIRGINIA THE WEST ........ 230
CITY OF SHIPS ..... m ..... 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
RECONCILIATION . ..... . . 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 .-*? ty ..... 262
HUSH'D BE THE CAMPS TO-DAY f-kv ..... 263
THIS DUST WAS ONCE THE MAN.2t>9 . . . . . 263
BY BLUE ONTARIO'S SHORED fcf- ....... 264
As CONSEQUENT .......... 277
THK RETURN OF THE HEROES ...... . 278
THERE WAS A CHILD WENT FORTH %'$\} ..... 282
OLD IRELAND .? ?<? ......... 284
THE CITY DEAD-HOUSE ?<? ....... 284
THIS COMPOST 'i.f C ......... . 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 ;K> ...... , 293
OUTLINES FOR A TOMB^^^ ....... 294
OUT FROM BEHIND THIS MASK ...... . 296
VOCALISM .... ....... 297
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
THOUGHT ...... * ..... 300
MIRACLES ........... 301
SPARKLES FROM THE WHEEL ....... 301
To A PUPIL ........... 302
UNFOLDED OUT OF THE FOLDS . . . . . . 302
WHAT AM I AFTER ALL ........ 303
KOSMOS ........... 303
OTHERS MAY PRAISE WHAT THEY LIKE ..... 304
WHO LEARNS MY LESSON COMPLETE ..... 304
TESTS ..... ........ 305
THE TORCH .......... 305
O STAR OF FRANCE (1870-71) ....... 306
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
PASSAGE TO INDIA _2J~ I ........ . 315
PRAYER OF COLUMBUS . ........ 323
THE SLEEPERS . ......... 325
TRANSPOSITIONS ............ 332
To THINK OF TIME .......... 333
3 WHISPERS OF 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 . . . . . .341
As IF A PHANTOM CARESS'D ME ...... 341
ASSURANCES ...... ..... 342
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
THOUGHT ... ........ 345
THE LAST INVOCATION ........ 346
As I WATCH'D THE PLOUGHMAN PLOUGHING . . . 346
PENSIVE AND FALTERING .,,,..,, 346
THOU MOTHER WITH THY EQUAL BROOD 346
A-graMANOK- PlCTlOT 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 OF PARTING.
As THE TIME DRAWS NIGH. 370
YEARS OF THE MODERN 370
ASHES OF SOLDIERS . .371
SONG AT SUNSET yj%
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.
ONE'S-SELF I sing, a simple separate person,
Yet 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 Life immense 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,
Knoirfst thou not there is but one theme for ever-enduring bards f
And that is the theme of War, the fortune of battles,
The making of perfect soldiers.
Be it so, then I answer'd,
/ too haughty Shade also sing war, and a longer and greater out
Waged in my book with varying fortune, with flight, advance and
retreat, victory deferred and wavering,
IO LEAVES OF GRASS.
( Yet methinks certain, or as good as certain, at the lasf,) the field
For life and death, for the Body and for the eternal Soul,
Lo, I too am come, chanting the chant of battles,
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 eid61ons.
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,
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,)
FilPd 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, eidolons.
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.
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,