Page:Leaves of Grass (1855).djvu/92

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Leaves of Grass.

All enjoyments and properties, and money, and whatever money will buy,
The best farms. .... others toiling and planting, and he unavoidably reaps,
The noblest and costliest cities .... others grading and building, and he domiciles there;
Nothing for any one but what is for him .... near and far are for him,
The ships in the offing .... the perpetual shows and marches on land are for him if they are for any body.

He puts things in their attitudes,
He puts today out of himself with plasticity and love,
He places his own city, times, reminiscences, parents, brothers and sisters, associations employment and politics, so that the rest never shame them afterward, nor assume to command them.

He is the answerer,
What can be answered he answers, and what cannot be answered he shows how it cannot be answered.

A man is a summons and challenge,
It is vain to skulk .... Do you hear that mocking and laughter? Do you hear the ironical echoes?

Books friendships philosophers priests action pleasure pride beat up and down seeking to give satisfaction;
He indicates the satisfaction, and indicates them that beat up and down also.

Whichever the sex ... whatever the season or place he may go freshly and gently and safely by day or by night,
He has the passkey of hearts .... to him the response of the prying of hands on the knobs.

His welcome is universal .... the flow of beauty is not more welcome or universal than he is,
The person he favors by day or sleeps with at night is blessed.

Every existence has its idiom .... every thing has an idiom and tongue;
He resolves all tongues into his own, and bestows it upon men .. and any man translates .. and any man translates himself also:
One part does not counteract another part .... He is the joiner .. he sees how they join.

He says indifferently and alike, How are you friend? to the President at his levee,
And he says Good day my brother, to Cudge that hoes in the sugarfield;
And both understand him and know that his speech is right.

He walks with perfect ease in the capitol,