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Leaves of Grass
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Leaves of Grass
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  • the moon ascending, Up from the east
  • We also ascend dazzling and tremendous as the sun, We found our own O my soul in the calm and cool of the daybreak.
  • You thoughtful Armenian pondering by some stream of the Euphrates! you peering amid the ruins of Nineveh! you ascending mount Ararat!
  • You doors and ascending steps! you arches!
  • To ascend, to leap to the heavens of the love indicated to me!
  • I ascend from the moon, I ascend from the night, I perceive that the ghastly glimmer is noonday sunbeams reflected, And debouch to the steady and central from the offspring great or small.
  • 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.
  • I ascend from the moon, I ascend from the night, I perceive that the ghastly glimmer is noonday sunbeams reflected, And debouch to the steady and central from the offspring great or small.
  • This day before dawn I ascended a hill and look’d at the crowded heaven, And I said to my spirit When we become the enfolders of those orbs, and the pleasure and knowledge of every thing in them, shall we be fill’d and satisfied then?
  • I see the Brazilian vaquero, I see the Bolivian ascending mount Sorata, I see the Wacho crossing the plains, I see the incomparable rider of horses with his lasso on his arm, I see over the pampas the pursuit of wild cattle for their hides.
  • Portals What are those of the known but to ascend and enter the Unknown?
  • Up through the darkness, While ravening clouds, the burial clouds, in black masses spreading, Lower sullen and fast athwart and down the sky, Amid a transparent clear belt of ether yet left in the east, Ascends large and calm the lord-star Jupiter, And nigh at hand, only a very little above, Swim the delicate sisters the Pleiades.
  • 15 The pure contralto sings in the organ loft, The carpenter dresses his plank, the tongue of his foreplane whistles its wild ascending lisp, The married and unmarried children ride home to their Thanksgiving dinner, The pilot seizes the king-pin, he heaves down with a strong arm, The mate stands braced in the whale-boat, lance and harpoon are ready, The duck-shooter walks by silent and cautious stretches, The deacons are ordain’d with cross’d hands at the altar, The spinning-girl…
  • …In vain the mastodon retreats beneath its own powder’d bones, In vain objects stand leagues off and assume manifold shapes, In vain the ocean settling in hollows and the great monsters lying low, In vain the buzzard houses herself with the sky, In vain the snake slides through the creepers and logs, In vain the elk takes to the inner passes of the woods, In vain the razor-bill’d auk sails far north to Labrador, I follow quickly, I ascend to the nest in the fissure of the cliff.
  • CHILDREN OF ADAM To the Garden the World To the garden the world anew ascending, Potent mates, daughters, sons, preluding, The love, the life of their bodies, meaning and being, Curious here behold my resurrection after slumber, The revolving cycles in their wide sweep having brought me again, Amorous, mature, all beautiful to me, all wondrous, My limbs and the quivering fire that ever plays through them, for reasons, most wondrous, Existing I peer and penetrate still, Content with the…
  • I ascend to the foretruck, I take my place late at night in the crow’s-nest, We sail the arctic sea, it is plenty light enough, Through the clear atmosphere I stretch around on the wonderful beauty, The enormous masses of ice pass me and I pass them, the scenery is plain in all directions, The white-topt mountains show in the distance, I fling out my fancies toward them, We are approaching some great battle-field in which we are soon to be engaged, We pass the colossal outposts of the…
  • …States compact, every square mile of these States without excepting a particle; Me pleas’d, rambling in lanes and country fields, Paumanok’s fields, Observing the spiral flight of two little yellow butterflies shuffling between each other, ascending high in the air, The darting swallow, the destroyer of insects, the fall traveler southward but returning northward early in the spring, The country boy at the close of the day driving the herd of cows and shouting to them as they loiter…
  • …Solway, others round cape Clear, others the Land’s End, Others traverse the Zuyder Zee or the Scheld, Others as comers and goers at Gibraltar or the Dardanelles, Others sternly push their way through the northern winter-packs, Others descend or ascend the Obi or the Lena, Others the Niger or the Congo, others the Indus, the Burampooter and Cambodia, Others wait steam’d up ready to start in the ports of Australia, Wait at Liverpool, Glasgow, Dublin, Marseilles, Lisbon, Naples, Hamburg,…
  • Noiseless as mists and vapors, From their graves in the trenches ascending, From cemeteries all through Virginia and Tennessee, From every point of the compass out of the countless graves, In wafted clouds, in myriads large, or squads of twos or threes or single ones they come, And silently gather round me.
  • Dear friend whoever you are take this kiss, I give it especially to you, do not forget me, I feel like one who has done work for the day to retire awhile, I receive now again of my many translations, from my avataras ascending, while others doubtless await me, An unknown sphere more real than I dream’d, more direct, darts awakening rays about me, So long!
  • …my soul hungering gymnastic I devour’d what the earth gave me, Long I roam’d amid the woods of the north, long I watch’d Niagara pouring, I travel’d the prairies over and slept on their breast, I cross’d the Nevadas, I cross’d the plateaus, I ascended the towering rocks along the Pacific, I sail’d out to sea, I sail’d through the storm, I was refresh’d by the storm, I watch’d with joy the threatening maws of the waves, I mark’d the white combs where they career’d so high, curling over,…
  • …the barren, colorless, sage-deserts, I see in glimpses afar or towering immediately above me the great mountains, I see the Wind river and the Wahsatch mountains, I see the Monument mountain and the Eagle’s Nest, I pass the Promontory, I ascend the Nevadas, I scan the noble Elk mountain and wind around its base, I see the Humboldt range, I thread the valley and cross the river, I see the clear waters of lake Tahoe, I see forests of majestic pines, Or crossing the great desert, the…
  • …ballads, feudal tales, essays, plays, Shakespere, Schiller, Walter Scott, Tennyson, As some vast wondrous weird dream-presences, The great shadowy groups gathering around, Darting their mighty masterful eyes forward at thee, Thou! with as now thy bending neck and head, with courteous hand and word, ascending, Thou! pausing a moment, drooping thine eyes upon them, blent with their music, Well pleased, accepting all, curiously prepared for by them, Thou enterest at thy entrance porch.
  • That Music Always Round Me That music always round me, unceasing, unbeginning, yet long untaught I did not hear, But now the chorus I hear and am elated, A tenor, strong, ascending with power and health, with glad notes of daybreak I hear, A soprano at intervals sailing buoyantly over the tops of immense waves, A transparent base shuddering lusciously under and through the universe, The triumphant tutti, the funeral wailings with sweet flutes and violins, all these I fill myself with,…
  • …I should need to name, O Western World, your powerfulest scene and show, ’Twould not be you, Niagara—nor you, ye limitless prairies—nor your huge rifts of canyons, Colorado, Nor you, Yosemite—nor Yellowstone, with all its spasmic geyser-loops ascending to the skies, appearing and disappearing, Nor Oregon’s white cones—nor Huron’s belt of mighty lakes—nor Mississippi’s stream: —This seething hemisphere’s humanity, as now, I’d name—the still small voice vibrating—America’s choosing day,…
  • To the Man-of-War-Bird Thou who hast slept all night upon the storm, Waking renew’d on thy prodigious pinions, (Burst the wild storm? above it thou ascended’st, And rested on the sky, thy slave that cradled thee,) Now a blue point, far, far in heaven floating, As to the light emerging here on deck I watch thee, (Myself a speck, a point on the world’s floating vast.
  • ) O I think it is not for life I am chanting here my chant of lovers, I think it must be for death, For how calm, how solemn it grows to ascend to the atmosphere of lovers, Death or life I am then indifferent, my soul declines to prefer, (I am not sure but the high soul of lovers welcomes death most,) Indeed O death, I think now these leaves mean precisely the same as you mean, Grow up taller sweet leaves that I may see! grow up out of my breast!
  • Whispers of Heavenly Death Whispers of heavenly death murmur’d I hear, Labial gossip of night, sibilant chorals, Footsteps gently ascending, mystical breezes wafted soft and low, Ripples of unseen rivers, tides of a current flowing, forever flowing, (Or is it the plashing of tears? the measureless waters of human tears?
  • ) The scout riding on horseback over the plains west of the Mississippi, he ascends a knoll and sweeps his eyes around; California life, the miner, bearded, dress’d in his rude costume, the stanch California friendship, the sweet air, the graves one in passing meets solitary just aside the horse-path; Down in Texas the cotton-field, the negro-cabins, drivers driving mules or oxen before rude carts, cotton bales piled on banks and wharves; Encircling all, vast-darting up and wide, the…

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  • We saw the rocket ascend.
  • The path ascended to the top of the hill

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