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essence
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Leaves of Grass
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essence
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Leaves of Grass
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  • Now understand me well—it is provided in the essence of things that from any fruition of success, no matter what, shall come forth something to make a greater struggle necessary.
  • And I have dream’d that the purpose and essence of the known life, the transient, Is to form and decide identity for the unknown life, the permanent.
  • …and natural as savanna, upland, prairie, Through him flights, whirls, screams, answering those of the fish-hawk, mocking-bird, night-heron, and eagle, His spirit surrounding his country’s spirit, unclosed to good and evil, Surrounding the essences of real things, old times and present times, Surrounding just found shores, islands, tribes of red aborigines, Weather-beaten vessels, landings, settlements, embryo stature and muscle, The haughty defiance of the Year One, war, peace, the…
  • …she stalk’d, Absorb them well O my earth, she cried, I charge you lose not my sons, lose not an atom, And you streams absorb them well, taking their dear blood, And you local spots, and you airs that swim above lightly impalpable, And all you essences of soil and growth, and you my rivers’ depths, And you mountain sides, and the woods where my dear children’s blood trickling redden’d, And you trees down in your roots to bequeath to all future trees, My dead absorb or South or North—my…
  • 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.
  • …down in your roots to bequeath to all future trees, My dead absorb or South or North—my young men’s bodies absorb, and their precious precious blood, Which holding in trust for me faithfully back again give me many a year hence, In unseen essence and odor of surface and grass, centuries hence, In blowing airs from the fields back again give me my darlings, give my immortal heroes, Exhale me them centuries hence, breathe me their breath, let not an atom be lost, O years and graves!
  • ) Essence of forms, life of the real identities, permanent, positive, (namely the unseen,) Life of the great round world, the sun and stars, and of man, I, the general soul, Here the square finishing, the solid, I the most solid, Breathe my breath also through these songs.
  • …occult deep volitions, You average spiritual manhood, purpose of all, pois’d on yourself, giving not taking law, You womanhood divine, mistress and source of all, whence life and love and aught that comes from life and love, You unseen moral essence of all the vast materials of America, age upon age working in death the same as life,) You that, sometimes known, oftener unknown, really shape and mould the New World, adjusting it to Time and Space, You hidden national will lying in your…

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  • To make things better, to enjoy each other’s company, and to empathize are essence of humanity.
  • There was only—spring itself; the throb of it, the light restlessness, the vital essence of it everywhere...
    Willa Cather

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