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Leaves of Grass
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Leaves of Grass
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  • Fear grace, elegance, civilization, delicatesse, Fear the mellow sweet, the sucking of honey—juice, Beware the advancing mortal ripening of Nature, Beware what precedes the decay of the ruggedness of states and men.
  • …kissers of brides, tender helpers of children, bearers of children, Soldiers of revolts, standers by gaping graves, lowerers-down of coffins, Journeyers over consecutive seasons, over the years, the curious years each emerging from that which preceded it, Journeyers as with companions, namely their own diverse phases, Forth-steppers from the latent unrealized baby-days, Journeyers gayly with their own youth, journeyers with their bearded and well-grain’d manhood, Journeyers with their…
  • …the handle and sets it firmly in the socket; The shadowy processions of the portraits of the past users also, The primal patient mechanics, the architects and engineers, The far-off Assyrian edifice and Mizra edifice, The Roman lictors preceding the consuls, The antique European warrior with his axe in combat, The uplifted arm, the clatter of blows on the helmeted head, The death-howl, the limpsy tumbling body, the rush of friend and foe thither, The siege of revolted lieges…
  • …My soul prepared in the mountains absorbs your immortal strong nutriment, Long had I walk’d my cities, my country roads through farms, only half satisfied, One doubt nauseous undulating like a snake, crawl’d on the ground before me, Continually preceding my steps, turning upon me oft, ironically hissing low; The cities I loved so well I abandon’d and left, I sped to the certainties suitable to me, Hungering, hungering, hungering, for primal energies and Nature’s dauntlessness, I…
  • …and retreating sternly into myself, I see that there are really no liars or lies after all, And that nothing fails its perfect return, and that what are called lies are perfect returns, And that each thing exactly represents itself and what has preceded it, And that the truth includes all, and is compact just as much as space is compact, And that there is no flaw or vacuum in the amount of the truth—but that all is truth without exception; And henceforth I will go celebrate any thing I…
  • …and from all the public buildings and stores, The tearful parting, the mother kisses her son, the son kisses his mother, (Loth is the mother to part, yet not a word does she speak to detain him,) The tumultuous escort, the ranks of policemen preceding, clearing the way, The unpent enthusiasm, the wild cheers of the crowd for their favorites, The artillery, the silent cannons bright as gold, drawn along, rumble lightly over the stones, (Silent cannons, soon to cease your silence, Soon…

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  • Stone tools preceded bronze tools.
  • In English, most adjectives precede the noun they modify.

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