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Leaves of Grass
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Leaves of Grass
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  • Exalte, rapt, ecstatic, The visible but their womb of birth, Of orbic tendencies to shape and shape and shape, The mighty earth-eidolon.
  • O something ecstatic and undemonstrable!
  • Then to a loftier strain, Still prouder, more ecstatic rose the chant, As if the heirs, the deities of the West, Joining with master-tongue bore part.
  • These shall tie you and band you stronger than hoops of iron, I, ecstatic, O partners!
  • Here too the blaze, the grape-shot and the axe, in reserve, to fetch them out in case of need, Here too, though long represt, can never be destroy’d, Here too could rise at last murdering and ecstatic, Here too demanding full arrears of vengeance.
  • I hear from the Mussulman mosque the muezzin calling, I see the worshippers within, nor form nor sermon, argument nor word, But silent, strange, devout, rais’d, glowing heads, ecstatic faces.
  • Thee coil’d in evil times my country, with craft and black dismay, with every meanness, treason thrust upon thee, This common marvel I beheld—the parent thrush I watch’d feeding its young, The singing thrush whose tones of joy and faith ecstatic, Fail not to certify and cheer my soul.
  • 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.
  • Banner: Demons and death then I sing, Put in all, aye all will I, sword-shaped pennant for war, And a pleasure new and ecstatic, and the prattled yearning of children, Blent with the sounds of the peaceful land and the liquid wash of the sea, And the black ships fighting on the sea envelop’d in smoke, And the icy cool of the far, far north, with rustling cedars and pines, And the whirr of drums and the sound of soldiers marching, and the hot sun shining south, And the beach-waves…
  • …of the bird continuous echoing, With angry moans the fierce old mother incessantly moaning, On the sands of Paumanok’s shore gray and rustling, 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 atmosphere 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 strange tears down the…
  • Thus on the northern coast, In the echo of teamsters’ calls and the clinking chains, and the music of choppers’ axes, The falling trunk and limbs, the crash, the muffled shriek, the groan, Such words combined from the redwood-tree, as of voices ecstatic, ancient and rustling, The century-lasting, unseen dryads, singing, withdrawing, All their recesses of forests and mountains leaving, From the Cascade range to the Wahsatch, or Idaho far, or Utah, To the deities of the modern henceforth…
  • …en-masse are curiously here, The swarming market-places, the temples with idols ranged along the sides or at the end, bonze, brahmin, and llama, Mandarin, farmer, merchant, mechanic, and fisherman, The singing-girl and the dancing-girl, the ecstatic persons, the secluded emperors, Confucius himself, the great poets and heroes, the warriors, the castes, all, Trooping up, crowding from all directions, from the Altay mountains, From Thibet, from the four winding and far-flowing rivers of…
  • Is humanity forming en-masse? for lo, tyrants tremble, crowns grow dim, The earth, restive, confronts a new era, perhaps a general divine war, No one knows what will happen next, such portents fill the days and nights; Years prophetical! the space ahead as I walk, as I vainly try to pierce it, is full of phantoms, Unborn deeds, things soon to be, project their shapes around me, This incredible rush and heat, this strange ecstatic fever of dreams O years!
  • …and cornets’ notes, Electric, pensive, turbulent, artificial, (Yet strangely fitting even here, meanings unknown before, Subtler than ever, more harmony, as if born here, related here, Not to the city’s fresco’d rooms, not to the audience of the opera house, Sounds, echoes, wandering strains, as really here at home, Sonnambula’s innocent love, trios with Norma’s anguish, And thy ecstatic chorus Poliuto;) Ray’d in the limpid yellow slanting sundown, Music, Italian music in Dakota.
  • ) Beginning My Studies Beginning my studies the first step pleas’d me so much, The mere fact consciousness, these forms, the power of motion, The least insect or animal, the senses, eyesight, love, The first step I say awed me and pleas’d me so much, I have hardly gone and hardly wish’d to go any farther, But stop and loiter all the time to sing it in ecstatic songs.

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  • They are ecstatically in love.
  • ecstatic that the legislation passed

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