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Leaves of Grass
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Leaves of Grass
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  • incessantly asking
  • 17 Expanding and swift, henceforth, Elements, breeds, adjustments, turbulent, quick and audacious, A world primal again, vistas of glory incessant and branching, A new race dominating previous ones and grander far, with new contests, New politics, new literatures and religions, new inventions and arts.
  • The cannons ope their rosy-flashing muzzles—the hurtled balls scream, The battle-front forms amid the smoke—the volleys pour incessant from the line, Hark, the ringing word Charge!
  • Thou laws invisible that permeate them and all, Thou that in all, and over all, and through and under all, incessant!
  • Down from the gardens of Asia descending radiating, Adam and Eve appear, then their myriad progeny after them, Wandering, yearning, curious, with restless explorations, With questionings, baffled, formless, feverish, with never-happy hearts, With that sad incessant refrain, Wherefore unsatisfied soul? and Whither O mocking life?
  • Reconciliation Word over all, beautiful as the sky, Beautiful that war and all its deeds of carnage must in time be utterly lost, That the hands of the sisters Death and Night incessantly softly wash again, and ever again, this solid world; For my enemy is dead, a man divine as myself is dead, I look where he lies white-faced and still in the coffin—I draw near, Bend down and touch lightly with my lips the white face in the coffin.
  • The aria sinking, All else continuing, the stars shining, The winds blowing, the notes 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,…
  • …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 cheeks coursing, 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.
  • …Life Weave in, weave in, my hardy life, Weave yet a soldier strong and full for great campaigns to come, Weave in red blood, weave sinews in like ropes, the senses, sight weave in, Weave lasting sure, weave day and night the wet, the warp, incessant weave, tire not, (We know not what the use O life, nor know the aim, the end, nor really aught we know, But know the work, the need goes on and shall go on, the death-envelop’d march of peace as well as war goes on,) For great campaigns…
  • …leaving, To troops out of the war arising, they the tasks I have set promulging, To women certain whispers of myself bequeathing, their affection me more clearly explaining, To young men my problems offering—no dallier I—I the muscle of their brains trying, So I pass, a little time vocal, visible, contrary, Afterward a melodious echo, passionately bent for, (death making me really undying,) The best of me then when no longer visible, for toward that I have been incessantly preparing.
  • A Riddle Song That which eludes this verse and any verse, Unheard by sharpest ear, unform’d in clearest eye or cunningest mind, Nor lore nor fame, nor happiness nor wealth, And yet the pulse of every heart and life throughout the world incessantly, Which you and I and all pursuing ever ever miss, Open but still a secret, the real of the real, an illusion, Costless, vouchsafed to each, yet never man the owner, Which poets vainly seek to put in rhyme, historians in prose, Which sculptor…
  • ) 2 Keep your splendid silent sun, Keep your woods O Nature, and the quiet places by the woods, Keep your fields of clover and timothy, and your corn-fields and orchards, Keep the blossoming buckwheat fields where the Ninth-month bees hum; Give me faces and streets—give me these phantoms incessant and endless along the trottoirs!
  • Ah Poverties, Wincings, and Sulky Retreats Ah poverties, wincings, and sulky retreats, Ah you foes that in conflict have overcome me, (For what is my life or any man’s life but a conflict with foes, the old, the incessant war?
  • Patroling Barnegat Wild, wild the storm, and the sea high running, Steady the roar of the gale, with incessant undertone muttering, Shouts of demoniac laughter fitfully piercing and pealing, Waves, air, midnight, their savagest trinity lashing, Out in the shadows there milk-white combs careering, On beachy slush and sand spirts of snow fierce slanting, Where through the murk the easterly death-wind breasting, Through cutting swirl and spray watchful and firm advancing, (That in the…
  • These demanding to have them, (tired with ceaseless excitement, and rack’d by the war-strife,) These to procure incessantly asking, rising in cries from my heart, While yet incessantly asking still I adhere to my city, Day upon day and year upon year O city, walking your streets, Where you hold me enchain’d a certain time refusing to give me up, Yet giving to make me glutted, enrich’d of soul, you give me forever faces; (O I see what I sought to escape, confronting, reversing my cries,…
  • …Thee in thy moral wealth and civilization, (until which thy proudest material civilization must remain in vain,) Thee in thy all-supplying, all-enclosing worship—thee in no single bible, saviour, merely, Thy saviours countless, latent within thyself, thy bibles incessant within thyself, equal to any, divine as any, (Thy soaring course thee formulating, not in thy two great wars, nor in thy century’s visible growth, But far more in these leaves and chants, thy chants, great Mother!

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  • She grew annoyed by the child’s incessant questions.
  • Night and day we live with the incessant noise of the city.

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