Page:Leaves of Grass (1855).djvu/86

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Leaves of Grass.

Be not ashamed women .. your privilege encloses the rest .. it is the exit of the rest,
You are the gates of the body and you are the gates of the soul.

The female contains all qualities and tempers them .... she is in her place .... she moves with perfect balance,
She is all things duly veiled .... she is both passive and active .... she is to conceive daughters as well as sons and sons as well as daughters.

As I see my soul reflected in nature .... as I see through a mist one with inexpressible completeness and beauty .... see the bent head and arms folded over the breast .... the female I see,
I see the bearer of the great fruit which is immortality .... the good thereof is not tasted by roues, and never can be.

The male is not less the soul, nor more .... he too is in his place,
He too is all qualities .... he is action and power .... the flush of the known universe is in him,
Scorn becomes him well and appetite and defiance become him well,
The fiercest largest passions .. bliss that is utmost and sorrow that is utmost become him well .... pride is for him,
The fullspread pride of man is calming and excellent to the soul;
Knowledge becomes him .... he likes it always .... he brings everything to the test of himself,
Whatever the survey .. whatever the sea and the sail, he strikes soundings at last only here,
Where else does he strike soundings except here?

The man’s body is sacred and the woman’s body is sacred .... if is no matter who,
Is it a slave? Is it one of the dullfaced immigrants just landed on the wharf?

Each belongs here or anywhere just as much as the welloff .... just as much as you,
Each has his or her place in the procession.

All is a procession,
The universe is a procession with measured and beautiful motion.

Do you know so much that you call the slave or the dullface ignorant?
Do you suppose you have a right to a good sight ... and he or she has no right to a sight?
Do you think matter has cohered together from its diffused float, and the soil is on the surface and water runs and vegetation sprouts for you .. and not for him and her?

A slave at auction!
I help the auctioneer .... the sloven does not half know his business.