Page:Leaves of Grass (1855).djvu/61

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Leaves of Grass.


I ascend from the moon .... I ascend from the night,
And perceive of the ghastly glitter the sunbeams reflected,
And debouch to the steady and central from the offspring great or small.

There is that in me .... I do not know what it is .... but I know it is in me.

Wrenched and sweaty .... calm and cool then my body becomes;
I sleep .... I sleep long.

I do not know it .... it is without name .... it is a word unsaid,
It is not in any dictionary or utterance or symbol.

Something it swings on more than the earth I swing on,
To it the creation is the friend whose embracing awakes me.

Perhaps I might tell more .... Outlines! I plead for my brothers and sisters.

Do you see O my brothers and sisters?
It is not chaos or death .... it is form and union and plan .... it is eternal life .... it is happiness.

The past and present wilt .... I have filled them and emptied them,
And proceed to fill my next fold of the future.

Listener up there! Here you .... what have you to confide to me?
Look in my face while I snuff the sidle of evening,
Talk honestly, for no one else hears you, and I stay only a minute longer.

Do I contradict myself?
Very well then .... I contradict myself;
I am large .... I contain multitudes.

I concentrate toward them that are nigh .... I wait on the door-slab.

Who has done his day’s work and will soonest be through with his supper?
Who wishes to walk with me?

Will you speak before I am gone? Will you prove already too late?

The spotted hawk swoops by and accuses me.... he complains of my gab and my loitering.

I too am not a bit tamed .... I too am untranslatable,
I sound my barbaric yawp over the roofs of the world.

The last scud of day holds back for me,