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Leaves of Grass
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Leaves of Grass
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  • It is not chaos or death—it is form, union, plan—it is eternal life—it is Happiness.
  • Sure as the ship of all, the Earth itself, Product of deathly fire and turbulent chaos, Forth from its spasms of fury and its poisons, Issuing at last in perfect power and beauty, Onward beneath the sun following its course, So thee O ship of France!
  • 2 Come nearer bodiless one, haply in thee resounds Some dead composer, haply thy pensive life Was fill’d with aspirations high, unform’d ideals, Waves, oceans musical, chaotically surging, That now ecstatic ghost, close to me bending, thy cornet echoing, pealing, Gives out to no one’s ears but mine, but freely gives to mine, That I may thee translate.
  • Thoughts Of ownership—as if one fit to own things could not at pleasure enter upon all, and incorporate them into himself or herself; Of vista—suppose some sight in arriere through the formative chaos, presuming the growth, fulness, life, now attain’d on the journey, (But I see the road continued, and the journey ever continued;) Of what was once lacking on earth, and in due time has become supplied—and of what will yet be supplied, Because all I see and know I believe to have its main…
  • …I see the gaps cut by the enemy’s volleys, (quickly fill’d up, no delay,) I breathe the suffocating smoke, then the flat clouds hover low concealing all; Now a strange lull for a few seconds, not a shot fired on either side, Then resumed the chaos louder than ever, with eager calls and orders of officers, While from some distant part of the field the wind wafts to my ears a shout of applause, (some special success,) And ever the sound of the cannon far or near, (rousing even in dreams…

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  • The country entered a period of civil war and chaos.
  • Everyone ran around trying to help, but there was no organization and little was accomplished in the chaos.

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