Page:Leaves of Grass (1855).djvu/41

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Leaves of Grass.


Infinite and omnigenous and the like of these among them;
Not too exclusive toward the reachers of my remembrancers,
Picking out here one that shall be my amie,
Choosing to go with him on brotherly terms.

A gigantic beauty of a stallion, fresh and responsive to my caresses,
Head high in the forehead and wide between the ears,
Limbs glossy and supple, tail dusting the ground,
Eyes well apart and full of sparkling wickedness .... ears finely cut and flexibly moving.

His nostrils dilate .... my heels embrace him .... his well built limbs tremble with pleasure .... we speed around and return.

I but use you a moment and then I resign you stallion .... and do not need your paces, and outgallop them,
And myself as I stand or sit pass faster than you.

Swift wind! Space! My Soul! Now I know it is true what I guessed at;
What I guessed when I loafed on the grass,
What I guessed while I lay alone in my bed .... and again as I walked the beach under the paling stars of the morning.

My ties and ballasts leave me .... I travel .... I sail .... my elbows rest in the sea-gaps,
I skirt the sierras .... my palms cover continents,
I am afoot with my vision.

By the city’s quadrangular houses .... in log-huts, or camping with lumbermen,
Along the ruts of the turnpike .... along the dry gulch and rivulet bed,
Hoeing my onion-patch, and rows of carrots and parsnips .... crossing savannas .... trailing in forests,
Prospecting .... gold-digging .... girdling the trees of a new purchase,
Scorched ankle-deep by the hot sand .... hauling my boat down the shallow river;
Where the panther walks to and fro on a limb overhead .... where the buck turns furiously at the hunter,
Where the rattlesnake suns his flabby length on a rock .... where the otter is feeding on fish,
Where the alligator in his tough pimples sleeps by the bayou,
Where the black bear is searching for roots or honey .... where the beaver pats the mud with his paddle-tail;
Over the growing sugar .... over the cottonplant .... over the rice in its low moist field;
Over the sharp-peaked farmhouse with its scalloped scum and slender shoots from the gutters;