« PreviousContinue »
WE TWO BOYS TOGETHER CLINGING. We two boys together clinging, One the other never leaving, Up and down the roads going, North and South excursions
making, Power enjoying, elbows stretching, fingers clutching, Arm'd and fearless, eating, drinking, sleeping, loving, No law less than ourselves owning, sailing, soldiering, thieving,
threatening, Misers, menials, priests alarming, air breathing, water drinking, on
the turf or the sea-beach dancing, Cities wrenching, ease scorning, statutes mocking, feebleness chas
ing, Fulfilling our foray.
A PROMISE TO CALIFORNIA. A PROMISE to California, Or inland to the great pastoral Plains, and on to Puget sound and
Oregon; Sojourning east a while longer, soon I travel toward you, to remain,
to teach robust American love, For I know very well that I and robust love belong among you,
inland, and along the Western sea; For these States tend inland and toward the Western sea, and I
HERE THE FRAILEST LEAVES OF ME. HERE the frailest leaves of me and yet my strongest lasting, Here I shade and hide my thoughts, I myself do not expose them, And yet they expose me more than all my other poems.
NO LABOR-SAVING MACHINE.
found a hospital or library,
A GLIMPSE through an interstice caught,
stove late of a winter night, and I unremark'd seated in a
corner, Of a youth who loves me and whom I love, silently approaching
and seating himself near, that he may hold me by the hand, A long while amid the noises of coming and going, of drinking
and oath and smutty jest, There we two, content, happy in being together, speaking little,
perhaps not a word.
A LEAF FOR HAND IN HAND. A LEAF for hand in hand; You natural persons old and young ! You on the Mississippi and on all the branches and bayous of the
Mississippi ! You friendly boatmen and mechanics ! you roughs! You twain ! and all processions moving along the streets ! I wish to infuse myself among you till I see it common for you to
walk hand in hand.
EARTH, MY LIKENESS. EARTH, my likeness, Though you look so impassive, ample and spheric there, I now suspect that is not all ; I now suspect there is something fierce in you eligible to burst forth, For an athlete is enamour'd of me, and I of him, But toward him there is something fierce and terrible in me eligi
ble to burst forth, I dare not tell it in words, not even in these songs.
I DREAM'D IN A DREAM. I DREAM'D in a dream I saw a city invincible to the attacks of the
whole of the rest of the earth, I dream'd that was the new city of Friends, Nothing was greater there than the quality of robust love, it led
the rest, It was seen every hour in the actions of the men of that city, And in all their looks and words.
WHAT THINK YOU I TAKE MY PEN IN HAND? What think you I take my pen in hand to record ? The battle-ship, perfect-model'd, majestic, that I saw pass the
offing to-day under full sail? The splendors of the past day? or the splendor of the night that
envelops me? Or the vaunted glory and growth of the great city spread around
me?- no; But merely of two simple men I saw to-day on the pier in the
midst of the crowd, parting the parting of dear friends, The one to remain hung on the other's neck and passionately
kiss'd him, While the one to depart tightly prest the one to remain in his
TO THE EAST AND TO THE WEST. To the East and to the West, To the man of the Seaside State and of Pennsylvania, To the Kanadian of the north, to the Southerner I love, These with perfect trust to depict you as myself, the germs are in
all men, I believe the main purport of these States is to found a superb
friendship, exalté, previously unknown, Because I perceive it waits, and has been always waiting, latent in
SOMETIMES WITH ONE I LOVE. SOMETIMES with one I love I fill myself with rage for fear I effuse
unreturn'd love, But now I think there is no unreturn'd love, the pay is certain one
way or another, (I loved a certain person ardently and my love was not return'd, Yet out of that I have written these songs.)
TO A WESTERN BOY. MANY things to absorb I teach to help you become eleve of mine ; Yet is blood like mine circle not in your veins, If you be not silently selected by lovers and do not silently select
lovers, Of what use is it that you seek to become eleve of mine?
FAST ANCHOR'D ETERNAL O LOVE!
AMONG THE MULTITUDE. AMONG the men and women the multitude, I perceive one picking me out by secret and divine signs, Acknowledging none else, not parent, wife, husband, brother,
child, any nearer than I am, Some are baffled, but that one is not that one knows me. Ah lover and perfect equal, I meant that you should discover me so by faint indirections, And I when I meet you mean to discover you by the like in you.
O YOU WHOM I OFTEN AND SILENTLY COME. O you whom I often and silently come where you are that I may
be with you, As I walk by your side or sit near, or remain in the same room Little you know the subtle electric fire that for your sake is play
ing within me.
THAT SHADOW MY LIKENESS. TEAT shadow my likeness that goes to and fro seeking a liveli
hood, chattering, chaffering, How often I find myself standing and looking at it where it
FULL OF LIFE NOW.
To one a century hence or any number of centuries hence,
your comrade; Be it as if I were with you. (Be not too certain but I am now
SALUT AU MONDE!
O TAKE my hand Walt Whitman!
Such gliding wonders ! such sights and sounds! Such join'd unended links, each hook'd to the next, Each answering all, each sharing the earth with all.
What widens within you Walt Whitman?
each other's necks?
Within me latitude widens, longitude lengthens,
does not set for months, Stretch'd in due time within me the midnight sun just rises above
the horizon and sinks again, Within me zones, seas, cataracts, forests, volcanoes, groups, Malaysia, Polynesia, and the great West Indian islands.