Page:Leaves of Grass (1855).djvu/77

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Leaves of Grass.


The murderer that is to be hung next day .... how does he sleep?
And the murdered person .... how does he sleep?

The female that loves unrequited sleeps,
And the male that loves unrequited sleeps;
The head of the moneymaker that plotted all day sleeps,
And the enraged and treacherous dispositions sleep.

I stand with drooping eyes by the worstsuffering and restless,
I pass my hands soothingly to and fro a few inches from them;
The restless sink in their beds .... they fitfully sleep.

The earth recedes from me into the night,
I saw that it was beautiful .... and I see that what is not the earth is beautiful.

I go from bedside to bedside .... I sleep close with the other sleepers, each in turn;
I dream in my dream all the dreams of the other dreamers,
And I become the other dreamers.

I am a dance .... Play up there! the fit is whirling me fast.

I am the everlaughing .... it is new moon and twilight,
I see the hiding of douceurs .... I see nimble ghosts whichever way I look,
Cache and cache again deep in the ground and sea, and where it is neither ground or sea.

Well do they do their jobs, those journeymen divine,
Only from me can they hide nothing and would not if they could;
I reckon I am their boss, and they make me a pet besides,
And surround me, and lead me and run ahead when I walk,
And lift their cunning covers and signify me with stretched arms, and resume the way;
Onward we move, a gay gang of blackguards with mirthshouting music and wildflapping pennants of joy.

I am the actor and the actress .... the voter .. the politician,
The emigrant and the exile .. the criminal that stood in the box,
He who has been famous, and he who shall be famous after today,
The stammerer .... the wellformed person .. the wasted or feeble person.

I am she who adorned herself and folded her hair expectantly,
My truant lover has come and it is dark.

Double yourself and receive me darkness,
Receive me and my lover too .... he will not let me go without him.