Page:Leaves of Grass (1855).djvu/44

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Leaves of Grass.

Speeding with tailed meteors .... throwing fire-balls like the rest,
Carrying the crescent child that carries its own full mother in its belly;
Storming enjoying planning loving cautioning,
Backing and filling, appearing and disappearing,
I tread day and night such roads.

I visit the orchards of God and look at the spheric product,
And look at quintillions ripened, and look at quintillions green.

I fly the flight of the fluid and swallowing soul,
My course runs below the soundings of plummets.

I help myself to material and immaterial,
No guard can shut me off, no law can prevent me.

I anchor my ship for a little while only,
My messengers continually cruise away or bring their returns to me.

I go hunting polar furs and the seal .... leaping chasms with a pike-pointed staff .... clinging to topples of brittle and blue.

I ascend to the foretruck .... I take my place late at night in the crow’s nest .... we sail through the arctic sea .... it is plenty light enough,
Through the clear atmosphere I stretch around on the wonderful beauty,
The enormous masses of ice pass me and I pass them .... the scenery is plain in all directions,
The white-topped mountains point up in the distance .... I fling out my fancies toward them;
We are about approaching some great battlefield in which we are soon to be engaged,
We pass the colossal outposts of the encampments .... we pass with still feet and caution;
Or we are entering by the suburbs some vast and ruined city .... the blocks and fallen architecture more than all the living cities of the globe.

I am a free companion .... I bivouac by invading watchfires.

I turn the bridegroom out of bed and stay with the bride myself,
And tighten her all night to my thighs and lips.

My voice is the wife’s voice, the screech by the rail of the stairs,
They fetch my man’s body up dripping and drowned.

I understand the large hearts of heroes,
The courage of present times and all times;