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High and clear I shoot my voice over the waves,
What is that dusky spot in your brown yellow!
Land land! O landh
Whichever way I turn/O I think you could give me my mate back again if you only would
For I am almost sure I see her dimly whichever way I look!
O rising stars
Perhaps the one I want so much will rise, will rise with some of you
O throat!/O trembling throat!
Sound clearer through the atmosphere!
Pierce the woods, the earth,
Somewhere listening to catch you must be the one I want!
Shake out carols!
Solitary here, the night's carols
Carols of lonesome love! death's carols!
Carols under that lagging, yellow, waning moon!
O under that moon where she droops almost down into the sea O reckless despairing carols/
Hither my love.
Here I am! here!
But soft! sink low!!
Soft let me just murmur,
And do wait a moment you husky-nois'd sea
But not altogether still for then she might not come immediately
With this just-sustain'd note I announce myself to you,
Do not be decoy'd elsewhere/
That is the whistle of the wind, it is not my voice,
That is the fluttering, the fluttering of the spray,
Those are the shadows of leaves
O darkness! O in vain
O I am very sick and sorrowful.
O brown halo in the sky near the moon, drooping upon the sea O troubled reflection in the sea!
O throat O throbbing heart!
And I singing uselessly fuselessly all the night
O past happy life 9 songs of joy
The aria sinking,
All else continuing, the stars shining/
The winds blowing, the notes of the bird continuous echoing
The yellow half-moon enlarged, sagging down, drooping, the face of the sea almost touching,
The boy ecstatic, with his bare feet the waves, with his hair the atmosphére dallying,
The love in the heart long pent, now loose/now at last tumultuously bursting,
The aria's meaning, the ears, the soul, swiftly depositing,
The colloquy there, the trio, each uttering,
The undertone, the savage old mother incessantly crying
To the boy's soul's questions sullenly timing, some drown'd secret hissing,
To the outsetting bard.
Demon or bird! (said the boy's soul,)
Is it indeed toward your mate you sing? or is it really to me? For I, that was a child, my tongue's use sleeping, now I have heard you,
Now in a moment I know what I am for, I awake,
And already a thousand singers, a thousand songs,/clearer, louder and more sorrowful than yours,
A thousand warbling echoes have started to life within me, never to die.
O you singer solitary, singing by yourself, projecting me
Never more shall I escape, never more the reverberations,
By the sea under the yellow and sagging moon,
The messenger there arous'd, the fire, the sweet hell within,
O give me the clew (it lurks in the night here, somewhere,)
A word then, (for I will conquer it,
The word final, superior to all,
Are you whispering it, and have been all the time, you sea
Is that it from your liquid rims and wet sands
Whereto answering the sea,
Delaying not hurrying not,
Whisper'd me through the night, and very plainly before day
Lisp'd to me the low/and delicious word death,/
And again death, death, death, death
Hissing melodious/neither like the bird nor like my arous'd child's heart,/
But edging near as privately for me rustling at my feet,
Death, death, death, death, death
Which I do not forget,
But fuse the song of my dusky demon and brother,
That he sang to me in the moonlight on Paumanok's gray beach, With the thousand responsive songs at random,
My own songs awaked from that hour,
And with them the key, the word up from the waves,
The word of the sweetest song and all songs,/
That strong and delicious word which, creeping to my feet,
(Or like some old crone rocking the cradle, swathed in sweet garments, bending aside,)
The sea whisper'd me/
As I ebb'd with the ocean of life,
As I wended the shores I know,
As I walk'd where the ripples continually wash you Paumanok,
Where the fierce old mother endlessly cries for her castaways,
The rim, the sediment that stands for all the water and all the land of the globe.
Fascinated, my eyes reverting from the south, dropt, to follow those slender windrows,
Chaff, straw, splinters of wood, weeds, and the sea-gluten, Scum, scales from shining rocks, leaves of salt-lettuce, left by the tide,
Miles walking, the sound of breaking waves the other side of me, Paumanok there and then as I thought the old thought of likenesses, These you presented to me you fish-shaped island,
As I wended the shores I know,
As I walk'd with that electric self seeking types.
As I wend to the shores I know not,
As I list to the dirge, the voices of men and women wreck'd,
As the ocean so mysterious rolls toward me closer and closer,
Gather, and merge myself as part of the sands and drift.
O baffled, balk'd, bent to the very earth,
Oppress'd with myself that I have dared to open my mouth, Aware now that amid all that blab whose echoes recoil upon me I have not once had the least idea who or what I am,
But that before all my arrogant poems the real Me stands yet untouch'd, untold, altogether unreach'd,
Withdrawn far, mocking me with mock-congratulatory signs and bows,
With peals of distant ironical laughter at every word I have written, Pointing in silence to these songs, and then to the sand beneath.
I perceive I have not really understood any thing, not a single object, and that no man ever can,
Nature here in sight of the sea taking advantage of me to dart upon me and sting me,
Because I have dared to open my mouth to sing at all.
You oceans both, I close with you,
We murmur alike reproachfully rolling sands and drift, knowing not why,
These little shreds indeed standing for you and me and all.
You friable shore with trails of debris,
You fish-shaped island, I take what is underfoot,
I too Paumanok,
I too have bubbled up, floated the measureless float, and been wash'd on your shores,
I too am but a trail of drift and debris,
I too leave little wrecks upon you, you fish-shaped island.
I throw myself upon your breast my father,
I cling to you so that you cannot unloose me,
I hold you so firm till you answer me something.
Kiss me my father,
Touch me with your lips as I touch those I love,
Breathe to me while I hold you close the secret of the murmuring I envy.
Ebb, ocean of life, (the flow will return,)
Cease not your moaning you fierce old mother,
Endlessly cry for your castaways, but fear not, deny not me, Rustle not up so hoarse and angry against my feet as I touch you or gather from you.
I mean tenderly by you and all,
I gather for myself and for this phantom looking down where we lead, and following me and mine.
Me and mine, loose windrows, little corpses,
Froth, snowy white, and bubbles,
(See, from my dead lips the ooze exuding at last,