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FOR YOU O DEMOCRACY.
COME, I will make the continent indissoluble,
I will make the most splendid race the sun ever shone upon,
With the love of comrades,
With the life-long love of comrades.
I will plant companionship thick as trees along all the rivers of America, and along the shores of the great lakes, and all over the prairies,
I will make inseparable cities with their arms about each other's necks,
By the love of comrades,
By the manly love of comrades.
For you these from me, O Democracy, to serve you ma femme ! For you, for you I am trilling these songs.
THESE I SINGING IN SPRING.
THESE I singing in spring collect for lovers,
(For who but I should understand lovers and all their sorrow and joy?
And who but I should be the poet of comrades?) Collecting I traverse the garden the world, but soon I pass the gates,
Now along the pond-side, now wading in a little, fearing not the wet,
Now by the post-and-rail fences where the old stones thrown there, pick'd from the fields, have accumulated,
(Wild-flowers and vines and weeds come up through the stones and partly cover them, beyond these I pass,)
Far, far in the forest, or sauntering later in summer, before I think
where I go,
Solitary, smelling the earthy smell, stopping now and then in the silence,
Alone I had thought, yet soon a troop gathers around me,
Some walk by my side and some behind, and some embrace my arms or neck,
They the spirits of dear friends dead or alive, thicker they come,
Here, out of my pocket, some moss which I pull'd off a live-oak
Here, some pinks and laurel leaves, and a handful of sage,
And here what I now draw from the water, wading in the pond-
(O here I last saw him that tenderly loves me, and returns again
And this, O this shall henceforth be the token of comrades, this
Interchange it youths with each other! let none render it back !)
Indicating to each one what he shall have, giving something to
But what I drew from the water by the pond-side, that I reserve,
NOT HEAVING FROM MY RIBB'D BREAST ONLY.
Nor heaving from my ribb'd breast only,
Not in sighs at night in rage dissatisfied with myself,
Not in many an oath and promise broken,
Not in my wilful and savage soul's volition,
Not in this beating and pounding at my temples and wrists,
Not in the curious systole and diastole within which will one day
Not in many a hungry wish told to the skies only,
Not in cries, laughter, defiances, thrown from me when alone far
Not in husky pantings through clinch'd teeth,
Not in sounded and resounded words, chattering words, echoes,
Not in the murmurs of my dreams while I sleep,
Nor the other murmurs of these incredible dreams of every day,
Nor in the limbs and senses of my body that take you and dismiss
Not in any or all of them O adhesiveness! O pulse of my life!
OF THE TERRIBLE DOUBT OF APPEARANCES.
Of the terrible doubt of appearances,
Of the uncertainty after all, that we may be deluded,
shining and flowing waters,
The skies of day and night, colors, densities, forms, may-be these are (as doubtless they are) only apparitions, and the real something has yet to be known,
(How often they dart out of themselves as if to confound me and
How often I think neither I know, nor any man knows, ant of them,)
May-be seeming to me what they are (as doubtless they indeed but seem) as from my present point of view, and might prove (as of course they would) nought of what they appear, or nought anyhow, from entirely changed points of view;
To me these and the like of these are curiously answer'd by my lovers, my dear friends,
When he whom I love travels with me or sits a long while holding me by the hand,
When the subtle air, the impalpable, the sense that words and reason hold not, surround us and pervade us,
Then I am charged with untold and untellable wisdom, I am silent, I require nothing further,
I cannot answer the question of appearances or that of identity beyond the grave,
But I walk or sit indifferent, I am satisfied,
He ahold of my hand has completely satisfied me.
THE BASE OF ALL METAPHYSICS.
AND now gentlemen,
A word I give to remain in your memories and minds,
(So to the students the old professor,
At the close of his crowded course.)
Having studied the new and antique, the Greek and Germanic systems,
Kant having studied and stated, Fichte and Schelling and Hegel,
Stated the lore of Plato, and Socrates greater than Plato,
I see reminiscent to-day those Greek and Germanic systems,
The dear love of man for his comrade, the attraction of friend to friend,
Of the well-married husband and wife, of children and parents, Of city for city and land for land.
RECORDERS AGES HENCE.
RECORDERS ages hence,
Come, I will take you down underneath this impassive. exterior, I will tell you what to say of me,
Publish my name and hang up my picture as that of the tenderest lover,
The friend the lover's portrait, of whom his friend his lover was fondest,
Who was not proud of his songs, but of the measureless ocean of love within him, and freely pour'd it forth,
Who often walk'd lonesome walks thinking of his dear friends, his
Who pensive away from one he lov'd often lay sleepless and dissatisfied at night,
Who knew too well the sick, sick dread lest the one he lov'd might secretly be indifferent to him,
Whose happiest days were far away through fields, in woods, on hills, he and another wandering hand in hand, they twain apart from other men,
Who oft as he saunter'd the streets curv'd with his arm the shoulder of his friend, while the arm of his friend rested upon him also.
WHEN I HEARD AT THE CLOSE OF THE DAY.
WHEN I heard at the close of the day how my name had been receiv'd with plaudits in the capitol, still it was not a happy night for me that follow'd,
And else when I carous'd, or when my plans were accomplish'd,
still I was not happy,
But the day when I rose at dawn from the bed of perfect health, refresh'd, singing, inhaling the ripe breath of autumn, When I saw the full moon in the west grow pale and disappear in
the morning light,
When I wander'd alone over the beach, and undressing bathed, laughing with the cool waters, and saw the sun rise, And when I thought how my dear friend my lover was on his way coming, O then I was happy,
O then each breath tasted sweeter, and all that day my food nourish'd me more, and the beautiful day pass'd well, And the next came with equal joy, and with the next at evening
came my friend,
And that night while all was still I heard the waters roll slowly continually up the shores,
I heard the hissing rustle of the liquid and sands as directed to me whispering to congratulate me,
For the one I love most lay sleeping by me under the same cover
in the cool night,
In the stillness in the autumn moonbeams his face was inclined toward me,
And his arm lay lightly around my breast--and that night I was happy.
ARE YOU THE NEW PERSON DRAWN TOWARD ME?
ARE you the new person drawn toward me?
To begin with take warning, I am surely far different from what you suppose;
Do you suppose you will find in me your ideal?
Do you think it so easy to have me become your lover?
Do you think the friendship of me would be unalloy'd satisfaction? Do you think I am trusty and faithful?
Do you see no further than this façade, this smooth and tolerant manner of me?
Do you suppose yourself advancing on real ground toward a real
Have you no thought O dreamer that it
may be all maya, illusion?
ROOTS AND LEAVES THEMSELVES ALONE.
ROOTS and leaves themselves alone are these,
Scents brought to men and women from the wild woods and