Gems from Walt Whitman

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D. McKay, 1889 - 58 pages

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Page 46 - I believe a leaf of grass is no less than the journey-work of the stars, And the pismire is equally perfect, and a grain of sand, and the egg of the wren, And the tree-toad is a chef-d'oeuvre for the highest, And the running blackberry would adorn the parlors of heaven, And the narrowest hinge in my hand puts to scorn all machinery, And the cow crunching with depress'd head surpasses any statue, And a mouse is miracle enough to stagger sextillions of infidels.
Page 27 - Earth of the vitreous pour of the full moon just tinged with blue! Earth of shine and dark mottling the tide of the river! Earth of the limpid gray of clouds brighter and clearer for my sake! Far-swooping elbow'd earth rich apple-blossom'd earth ! Smile, for your lover comes.
Page 26 - 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.
Page 36 - 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?
Page 35 - O CAPTAIN ! my Captain ! our fearful trip is done ; The ship has weathered every rack, the prize we sought is won; The port is near, the bells I hear, the people all exulting, While follow eyes the steady keel, the vessel grim and daring. But O heart! heart! heart! O the bleeding drops of red, Where on the deck my Captain lies. Fallen cold and dead.
Page 50 - Now trumpeter for thy close, Vouchsafe a higher strain than any yet, Sing to my soul, renew its languishing faith and hope, Rouse up my slow belief, give me some vision of the future, Give me for once its prophecy and joy.
Page 27 - 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.
Page 38 - Each is not for its own sake, I say the whole earth and all the stars in the sky are for religion's sake. 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.
Page 44 - I am the poet of the woman the same as the man, And I say it is as great to be a woman as to be a man, And I say there is nothing greater than the mother of men.
Page 51 - DAREST THOU NOW O SOUL DAREST thou now O soul, Walk out with me toward the unknown region, Where neither ground is for the feet nor any path to follow ? No map there, nor guide, Nor voice sounding, nor touch of human hand, Nor face with blooming flesh, nor lips, nor eyes, are in that land. I know it not O soul, Nor dost thou, all is a blank before us, All waits undream'd of in that region, that inaccessible land.

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