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IN ALL, MYSELF.
I am the poet of the Body and I am the poet of the Soul, The pleasures of heaven are with me, and the pains of
hell are with me; The first I graft upon myself, the latter I translate into a
I am the poet of the woman the same as the man,
I chant the chant of dilation or pride,
Have you outstript the rest ? are you the President?
and still pass on. I am he that walks with the tender and growing night, I call to the earth and sea, half-held by the night,
Press close, bare-bosom'd night - press close, magnetic, ,
nourishing night! Night of South winds - night of the large, few stars! Still, nodding night — mad, naked summer night.
Smile, O voluptuous, cool-breathed earth!
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. Prodigal, you have given me love — therefore to you I
give love! Oh, unspeakable, passionate love.
THE PEAN OF JOY. .
Now, trumpeter! for thy close,
at last! Hymns to the universal God from universal Man - all
joy! A reborn race appears
a perfect world
- all joy! Women and men in wisdom, innocence, and health -- all
joy! Riotous, laughing bacchanals, filled with joy! War, sorrowing, suffering gone -- the rank earth purged
- nothing but joy left! The ocean filled with joy — the atmosphere all joy! Joy! joy ! in freedom, worship, love! Joy in the ecstasy
of life! Enough to merely be! Enough to breathe ! Joy! joy ! all over joy!
THE REALITIES OF LIFE AND DEATH.
Great is Life, real and mystical, wherever and whoever
Death holds all parts together;
I do not understand the realities of Death, but I know
that they are great: I do not understand the least reality of Life - how then
can I understand the realities of Death ?
ing a few moments, for reasons ! Oh, that of myself, discharging my excrementitious body,
to be burned, or reduced to powder, or buried, My real body doubtless left to me for other spheres, My voided body, nothing more to me, returning to the
purifications, further offices, eternal uses of the earth!
Whoever you are! you are he or she for whom the earth
is solid and liquid; You are he or she for whom the sun and the moon hang
in the sky; For none more than you are the present and the past; For none more than you is immortality! Each man to himself, and each woman to herself, is the
word of the past and present, and the word of im
mortality : No one can acquire for another - not one! No one can grow for another - not one !
I HEAR AMERICA SINGING.
I hear America singing, the varied carols I hear,
strong, The carpenter singing his as he measures his plank or beam, The mason singing his as he makes ready for work, or
leaves off work,
The boatman singing what belongs to him in his boat,
the deck-hand singing on the steam-boat deck, The shoemaker singing as he sits on his bench, the hat
ter singing as he stands, The wood-cutter's song, the ploughboy's on his way in
the morning, or at noon intermission or at sundown, The delicious singing of the mother, or of the young
wife at work, or of the girl sewing or washing, Each singing what belongs to him or her and to none else, The day what belongs to the day - at night the party of
young fellows, robust, friendly, Singing with melodious mouths their strong, melodious
Far hence amid an isle of wondrous beauty,
ground, Her old, white hair drooping, disheveld, round her
shoulders, At her feet, fallen, an unused royal harp, Long silent, she, too, long silent, mourning her shrouded
hope and heir, Of all the earth most full of sorrow because most full of
Yet a word, ancient mother,
with forehead between your knees, Oh, you need not sit there veil'd in your old, white hair
so dishevel'd, For know you the one you mourn is not in that grave. It was an illusion, the son you love was not really dead, The Lord is not dead, He is risen again, young and
strong, in another country, What you wept for was translated, pass'd from the grave. The winds favor'd and the sea sail'd it, And now with rosy and new blood, Moves to-day in a new country.
YOUTH, DAY, OLD AGE, AND NIGHT.
Youth, large, lusty, loving - youth full of grace, force,
fascination, Do you know that Old Age may come after you with
equal grace, force, fascination ?
Day, full-blown and splendid — day of the immense sun
- action, ambition, laughter, The Night follows close with millions of suns, and sleep,
and restoring darkness.
DAREST THOU NOW, O SOUL?
Darest thou now, O soul,
No map there, nor guide,
I know it not, O soul,
Till when the ties loosen,
Then we burst forth, we float,
fulfil, O soul.