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Leaves of Grass
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Leaves of Grass
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  • And who are you, blabbing by rote, years, pages, languages, reminiscences, Unwitting to-day that you do not know how to speak properly a single word?
  • Around the idea of thee the war revolving, With all its angry and vehement play of causes, (With vast results to come for thrice a thousand years,) These recitatives for thee,—my book and the war are one, Merged in its spirit I and mine, as the contest hinged on thee, As a wheel on its axis turns, this book unwitting to itself, Around the idea of thee.
  • Now I am terrified at the Earth, it is that calm and patient, It grows such sweet things out of such corruptions, It turns harmless and stainless on its axis, with such endless successions of diseas’d corpses, It distills such exquisite winds out of such infused fetor, It renews with such unwitting looks its prodigal, annual, sumptuous crops, It gives such divine materials to men, and accepts such leavings from them at last.
  • ůSo that often to me they appear gaunt and naked, And often to me each one mocks the others, and mocks himself or herself, And of each one the core of life, namely happiness, is full of the rotten excrement of maggots, And often to me those men and women pass unwittingly the true realities of life, and go toward false realities, And often to me they are alive after what custom has served them, but nothing more, And often to me they are sad, hasty, unwaked sonnambules walking the dusk.
  • And yet thou living present brain, heir of the dead, the Old World brain, Thou that lay folded like an unborn babe within its folds so long, Thou carefully prepared by it so long—haply thou but unfoldest it, only maturest it, It to eventuate in thee—the essence of the by-gone time contain’d in thee, Its poems, churches, arts, unwitting to themselves, destined with reference to thee; Thou but the apples, long, long, long a-growing, The fruit of all the Old ripening to-day in thee.

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  • She unwittingly bought and sold stolen merchandise.
  • She was an unwitting accomplice in the crime.

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