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A GLIMPSE through an interstice caught,

Of a crowd of workmen and drivers in a bar-room around the stove late of a winter night, and I unremark'd seated in a corner,

Of a youth who loves me and whom I love, silently approaching and seating himself near, that he may hold me by the hand, A long while amid the noises of coming and going, of drinking and oath and smutty jest,

There we two, content, happy in being together, speaking little, perhaps not a word.



A LEAF for hand in hand;

You natural persons old and young!

You on the Mississippi and on all the branches and bayous of the Mississippi!

You friendly boatmen and mechanics! you roughs!

You twain! and all processions moving along the streets!

I wish to infuse myself among you till I see it common for you to walk hand in hand.


EARTH, my likeness,

Though you look so impassive, ample and spheric there,
I now suspect that is not all;

I now suspect there is something fierce in you eligible to burst forth,
For an athlete is enamour'd of me, and I of him,

But toward him there is something fierce and terrible in me eligible to burst forth,

I dare not tell it in words, not even in these songs.


I DREAM'D in a dream I saw a city invincible to the attacks of the whole of the rest of the earth,

I dream'd that was the new city of Friends,

Nothing was greater there than the quality of robust love, it led

the rest,

It was seen every hour in the actions of the men of that city,
And in all their looks and words.

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WHAT think you I take my pen in hand to record?

The battle-ship, perfect-model'd, majestic, that I saw pass the offing to-day under full sail?

The splendors of the past day? or the splendor of the night that envelops me?

Or the vaunted glory and growth of the great city spread around me? — no;

But merely of two simple men I saw to-day on the pier in the midst of the crowd, parting the parting of dear friends, The one to remain hung on the other's neck and passionately

kiss'd him,

While the one to depart tightly prest the one to remain in his



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To the East and to the West,

To the man of the Seaside State and of Pennsylvania,
To the Kanadian of the north, to the Southerner I love,
These with perfect trust to depict you as myself, the germs are in

all men,

I believe the main purport of these States is to found a superb friendship, exaltè, previously unknown,

Because I perceive it waits, and has been always waiting, latent in all men.


SOMETIMES with one I love I fill myself with rage for fear I effuse unreturn'd love,

But now I think there is no unreturn'd love, the pay is certain one way or another,

(I loved a certain person ardently and my love was not return'd, Yet out of that I have written these songs.)


MANY things to absorb I teach to help you become eleve of mine;
Yet if blood like mine circle not in your veins,



be not silently selected by lovers and do not silently select lovers,

Of what use is it that you seek to become eleve of mine?


FAST-ANCHOR'D eternal O love ! O woman I love!

O bride! O wife! more resistless than I can tell, the thought of you!

Then separate, as disembodied or another born,
Ethereal, the last athletic reality, my consolation,
I ascend, I float in the regions of your love O man,
O sharer of my roving life.


AMONG the men and women the multitude,

I perceive one picking me out by secret and divine signs, Acknowledging none else, not parent, wife, husband, brother, child, any nearer than I am,

Some are baffled, but that one is not― that one knows me.

Ah lover and perfect equal,

I meant that you should discover me so by faint indirections, And I when I meet you mean to discover you by the like in you.

O YOU WHOM I OFTEN AND SILENTLY COME. O you whom I often and silently come where you are that I may be with you,

As I walk by your side or sit near, or remain in the same room with you,

Little you know the subtle electric fire that for your sake is playing within me.


THAT shadow my likeness that goes to and fro seeking a livelihood, chattering, chaffering,

How often I find myself standing and looking at it where it


How often I question and doubt whether that is really me;
But among my lovers and caroling these songs,
OI never doubt whether that is really me.


FULL of life now, compact, visible,

I, forty years old the eighty-third year of the States,

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To one a century hence or any number of centuries hence,
To you yet unborn these, seeking you.

When you read these I that was visible am become invisible,
Now it is you, compact, visible, realizing my poems, seeking me,
Fancying how happy you were if I could be with you and become

your comrade;

Be it as if I were with you. (Be not too certain but I am now
with you.)

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O TAKE my hand Walt Whitman !

Such gliding wonders! such sights and sounds!
Such join'd unended links, each hook'd to the next,
Each answering all, each sharing the earth with all.

What widens within you Walt Whitman?
What waves and soils exuding?

What climes? what persons and cities are here?

Who are the infants, some playing, some slumbering?

Who are the girls? who are the married women?

Who are the groups of old men going slowly with their arms about

each other's necks?

What rivers are these? what forests and fruits are these?

What are the mountains call'd that rise so high in the mists?
What myriads of dwellings are they fill'd with dwellers?


Within me latitude widens, longitude lengthens,

Asia, Africa, Europe, are to the east - America is provided for in
the west,

Banding the bulge of the earth winds the hot equator,

Curiously north and south turn the axis-ends,

Within me is the longest day, the sun wheels in slanting rings, it
does not set for months,

Stretch'd in due time within me the midnight sun just rises above
the horizon and sinks again,

Within me zones, seas, cataracts, forests, volcanoes, groups,
Malaysia, Polynesin, and the great West Indian islands.

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What do you hear Walt Whitman?

I hear the workman singing and the farmer's wife singing,

I hear in the distance the sounds of children and of animals early in the day,

I hear emulous shouts of Australians pursuing the wild horse,

I hear the Spanish dance with castanets in the chestnut shade, to the rebeck and guitar,


I hear continual echoes from the Thames,

I hear fierce French liberty songs,

I hear of the Italian boat-sculler the musical recitative of old


I hear the locusts in Syria as they strike the grain and grass with the showers of their terrible clouds,

I hear the Coptic refrain toward sundown, pensively falling on the breast of the black venerable vast mother the Nile,

I hear the chirp of the Mexican muleteer, and the bells of the mule,

I hear the Arab muezzin calling from the top of the mosque,

I hear the Christian priests at the altars of their churches, I hear the responsive base and soprano,

I hear the cry of the Cossack, and the sailor's voice putting to sea at Okotsk,

I hear the wheeze of the slave-coffle as the slaves march on, as the husky gangs pass on by twos and threes, fasten'd together with wrist-chains and ankle-chains,

I hear the Hebrew reading his records and psalms,

I hear the rhythmic myths of the Greeks, and the strong legends of the Romans,

I hear the tale of the divine life and bloody death of the beautiful God the Christ,

I hear the Hindoo teaching his favorite pupil the loves, wars, adages, transmitted safely to this day from poets who wrote three thousand years ago.

What do you see Walt Whitman?

Who are they you salute, and that one after another salute you?

I see a great round wonder rolling through space,

I see diminute farms, hamlets, ruins, graveyards, jails, factories, palaces, hovels, huts of barbarians, tents of nomads upon the surface,

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