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WE TWO, HOW LONG WE WERE FOOL'D. We two, how long we were foolid, Now transmuted, we swiftly escape as Nature escapes, We are Nature, long have we been absent, but now we return, We become plants, trunks, foliage, roots, bark, We are bedded in the ground, we are rocks, We are oaks, we grow in the openings side by side, We browse, we are two among the wild herds spontaneous as
any, We are two fishes swimming in the sea together, We are what locust blossoms are, we drop scent around lanes
mornings and evenings, We are also the coarse smut of beasts, vegetables, minerals, We are two predatory hawks, we soar above and look down, We are two resplendent suns, we it is who balance ourselves orbic
and stellar, we are as two comets, We prowl fang'd and four-footed in the woods, we spring on
prey, We are two clouds forenoons and afternoons driving overhead, We are seas mingling, we are two of those cheerful waves rolling
over each other and interwetting each other, We are what the atmosphere is, transparent, receptive, pervious,
impervious, We are snow, rain, cold, darkness, we are each product and
influence of the globe, We have circled and circled till we have arrived home again, we
two, We have voided all but freedom and all but our own joy.
O HYMEN! O HYMENEE! O HYMEN ! O hymenee ! why do you tantalize me thus? why sting me for a swift moment only? Why can you not continue? O why do you now cease? Is it because if you continued beyond the swift moment you
would soon certainly kill me?
I AM HE THAT ACHES WITH LOVE. I am he that aches with amorous love ; Does the earth gravitate? does not all matter, aching, attract all
matter? So the body of me to all I meet or know.
NATIVE MOMENTS. NATIVE moments — when you come upon me — ah you are here
now, Give me now libidinous joys only, Give me the drench of my passions, give me life coarse and rank, To-day I go consort with Nature's darlings, to-night too, I am for those who believe in loose delights, I share the midnight
orgies of young men, I dance with the dancers and drink with the drinkers, The echoes ring with our indecent calls, I pick out some low
person for my dearest friend, He shall be lawless, rude, illiterate, he shall be one condemn'd by
others for deeds done, I will play a part no longer, why should I exile myself from my
ONCE I PASS'D THROUGH A POPULOUS CITY. ONCE I pass'd through a populous city imprinting my brain for
future use with its shows, architecture, customs, traditions, Yet now of all that city I remember only a woman I casually met
there who detain'd me for love of me, Day by day and night by night we were together — all else has
long been forgotten by me, I remember I say only that woman who passionately clung to me, Again we wander, we love, we separate again, Again she holds me by the hand, I must not go, I see her close beside me with silent lips sad and tremulous.
I HEARD YOU SOLEMN-SWEET PIPES OF THE ORGAN. I HEARD you solemn-sweet pipes of the organ as last Sunday morn
I pass'd the church, Winds of autumn, as I walk'd the woods at dusk I heard your
long-stretch'd sighs up above so mournful, I heard the perfect Italian tenor singing at the opera, I heard the
soprano in the midst of the quartet singing; Heart of my love ! you too I heard murmuring low through one
of the wrists around my head, Heard the pulse of you when all was still ringing little bells Last
night under my ear.
FACING WEST FROM CALIFORNIA'S SHORES. FACING west from California's shores, Inquiring, tireless, seeking what is yet unfound, I, a child, very old, over waves, towards the house of maternity,
the land of migrations, look afar, Look off the shores of my Western sea, the circle almost circled ; For starting westward from Hindustan, from the vales of Kash
mere, From Asia, from the north, from the God, the sage, and the
hero, From the south, from the flowery peninsulas and the spice islands, Long having wander'd since, round the earth having wander'd, Now I face home again, very pleas'd and joyous, (But where is what I started for so long ago ? And why is it yet unfound ?)
AS ADAM EARLY IN THE MORNING. 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.
IN PATHS UNTRODDEN. IN paths untrodden,
In the growth by margins of pond-waters, Escaped from the life that exhibits itself, From all the standards hitherto publish'd, from the pleasures,
profits, conformities, Which too long I was offering to feed my soul, Clear to me now standards not yet publish'd, clear to me that my
No longer abash'd, (for in this secluded spot I can respond as I
would not dare elsewhere,) Strong upon me the life that does not exhibit itself, yet contains
all the rest, Resolv’d to sing no songs to-day but those of manly attachment, Projecting them along that substantial life, Bequeathing hence types of athletic love, Afternoon this delicious Ninth-month in my forty-first year, I proceed for all who are or have been young men, To tell the secret of my nights and days, To celebrate the need of comrades.
SCENTED HERBAGE OF MY BREAST. SCENTED herbage of my breast, Leaves from you I glean, I write, to be perused best afterwards, Tomb-leaves, body-leaves growing up above me above death, Perennial roots, tall leaves, o the winter shall not freeze you
delicate leaves, Every year shall you bloom again, out from where you retired you
shall emerge again; 0 I do not know whether many passing by will discover you or
inhale your faint odor, but I believe a few will; O slender leaves ! O blossoms of my blood ! I permit you to tell
in your own way of the heart that is under you, O I do not know what you mean there underneath yourselves, you
are not happiness, You are often more bitter than I can bear, you burn and sting me, Yet you are beautiful to me you faint tinged roots, you make me
think of death, Death is beautiful from you, (what indeed is finally beautiful except
death and love?) 0 I think it is not for life I am chanting here my chant of lovers,
I think it must be for death, For how calm, how solemn it grows to ascend to the atmosphere
of lovers, Death or life I am then indifferent, my soul declines to prefer, (I am not sure but the high soul of lovers welcomes death most,) Indeed O death, I think now these leaves mean precisely the same
as you mean, Grow up taller sweet leaves that I may see ! grow up out of my
breast ! Spring away from the conceal'd heart there! Do not fold yourself so in your pink-tinged roots timid leaves !
Do not remain down there so ashamed, herbage of my breast ! Come I am determin'd to unbare this broad breast of mine, I
have long enough stifled and choked ; Emblematic and capricious blades I leave you, now you serve me
not, I will say what I have to say by itself, I wil sound myself and comrades only, I will never again utter a
call only their call, I will raise with it immortal reverberations through the States, I will give an example to lovers to take permanent shape and
will through the States, Through me shall the words be said to make death exhilarating, Give me your tone therefore O death, that I may accord with it, Give me yourself, for I see that you belong to me now above all,
and are folded inseparably together, you love and death are, Nor will I allow you to balk me any more with what I was calling life, For now it is convey'd to me that you are the purports essential, That you hide in these shifting forms of life, for reasons, and that
they are mainly for you, That you beyond them come forth to remain, the real reality, That behind the mask of materials you patiently wait, no matter
how long, That you will one day perhaps take control of all, That you will perhaps dissipate this entire show of appearance, That may be you are what it is all for, but it does not last so very
long, But you will last very long.
WHOEVER YOU ARE HOLDING ME NOW IN HAND.
Who is he that would become my follower?
The way is suspicious, the result uncertain, perhaps destructive, You would have to give up all else, I alone would expect to be
your sole and exclusive standard, Your novitiate would even then be long and exhausting, The whole past theory of your life and all conformity to the lives
around you would have to be abandon'd,