Page:Leaves of Grass (1860).djvu/170

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162
Leaves of Grass.

There are the negroes at work, in good health — the ground in all directions is covered with pine straw;

In Tennessee and Kentucky, slaves busy in the coalings, at the forge, by the furnace-blaze, or at the corn-shucking ;

In Virginia, the planter's son returning after a long absence, joyfully welcomed and kissed by the aged mulatto nurse ;

On rivers, boatmen safely moored at night-fall, in their boats, under the shelter of high banks,

Some of the younger men dance to the sound of the banjo or fiddle — others sit on the gunwale, smoking and talking ;

Late in the afternoon, the mocking-bird, the American mimic, singing in the Great Dismal Swamp • — there are the greenish waters, the resinous odor, the plenteous moss, the cypress tree, and the juniper tree ;

Northward, young men of Mannahatta — the target company from an excursion returning home at evening — the musket-muzzles all bear bunches of flowers presented by women ;

Children at play — or on his father's lap a young boy fallen asleep, (how his lips move ! how he smiles in his sleep I)

The scout riding on horseback over the plains west of the Mississippi — he ascends a knoll and sweeps his eye around ;

California life — the miner, bearded, dressed in his rude costume — the stanch California friendship — the sweet air — the graves one, in passing, meets, solitary, just aside the horse-path;