I seize the descending man and raise him with resistless will, O despairer, here is my neck, By God, you shall not go down! hang your whole weight upon me.
An unseen hand also pass’d over their bodies, It descended tremblingly from their temples and ribs.
You dim-descended, black, divine-soul’d African, large, fine-headed, nobly-form’d, superbly destin’d, on equal terms with me!
(you stock whence I myself have descended;) You sturdy Austrian! you Lombard!
Of the turbid pool that lies in the autumn forest, Of the moon that descends the steeps of the soughing twilight, Toss, sparkles of day and dusk—toss on the black stems that decay in the muck, Toss to the moaning gibberish of the dry limbs.
) I too, following many and follow’d by many, inaugurate a religion, I descend into the arena, (It may be I am destin’d to utter the loudest cries there, the winner’s pealing shouts, Who knows? they may rise from me yet, and soar above every thing.
What beauty is this that descends upon me and rises out of me?
Has the night descended?
Behavior lawless as snow-flakes, words simple as grass, uncomb’d head, laughter, and naivete, Slow-stepping feet, common features, common modes and emanations, They descend in new forms from the tips of his fingers, They are wafted with the odor of his body or breath, they fly out of the glance of his eyes.
2 I descend my western course, my sinews are flaccid, Perfume and youth course through me and I am their wake.
…in the open air in the far west, the bride was a red girl, Her father and his friends sat near cross-legged and dumbly smoking, they had moccasins to their feet and large thick blankets hanging from their shoulders, On a bank lounged the trapper, he was drest mostly in skins, his luxuriant beard and curls protected his neck, he held his bride by the hand, She had long eyelashes, her head was bare, her coarse straight locks descended upon her voluptuous limbs and reach’d to her feet.
…in warmer air in the Carolinas the large black buzzard floating slowly high beyond the tree tops, Below, the red cedar festoon’d with tylandria, the pines and cypresses growing out of the white sand that spreads far and flat, Rude boats descending the big Pedee, climbing plants, parasites with color’d flowers and berries enveloping huge trees, The waving drapery on the live-oak trailing long and low, noiselessly waved by the wind, The camp of Georgia wagoners just after dark, the…
…firth of Solway, others round cape Clear, others the Land’s End, Others traverse the Zuyder Zee or the Scheld, Others as comers and goers at Gibraltar or the Dardanelles, Others sternly push their way through the northern winter-packs, Others descend or ascend the Obi or the Lena, Others the Niger or the Congo, others the Indus, the Burampooter and Cambodia, Others wait steam’d up ready to start in the ports of Australia, Wait at Liverpool, Glasgow, Dublin, Marseilles, Lisbon, Naples,…
…of them, I am a real Parisian, I am a habitan of Vienna, St. Petersburg, Berlin, Constantinople, I am of Adelaide, Sidney, Melbourne, I am of London, Manchester, Bristol, Edinburgh, Limerick, I am of Madrid, Cadiz, Barcelona, Oporto, Lyons, Brussels, Berne, Frankfort, Stuttgart, Turin, Florence, I belong in Moscow, Cracow, Warsaw, or northward in Christiania or Stockholm, or in Siberian Irkutsk, or in some street in Iceland, I descend upon all those cities, and rise from them again.
Transpositions Let the reformers descend from the stands where they are forever bawling—let an idiot or insane person appear on each of the stands; Let judges and criminals be transposed—let the prison-keepers be put in prison—let those that were prisoners take the keys; Let them that distrust birth and death lead the rest.
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?
When the psalm sings instead of the singer, When the script preaches instead of the preacher, When the pulpit descends and goes instead of the carver that carved the supporting desk, When I can touch the body of books by night or by day, and when they touch my body back again, When a university course convinces like a slumbering woman and child convince, When the minted gold in the vault smiles like the night-watchman’s daughter, When warrantee deeds loafe in chairs opposite and are my…
When million-footed Manhattan unpent descends to her pavements, When the thunder-cracking guns arouse me with the proud roar love, When the round-mouth’d guns out of the smoke and smell I love spit their salutes, When the fire-flashing guns have fully alerted me, and heaven-clouds canopy my city with a delicate thin haze, When gorgeous the countless straight stems, the forests at the wharves, thicken with colors, When every ship richly drest carries her flag at the peak, When pennants…
…year, as rising amid the great cities, Amid the men of Manhattan I saw you as one of the workmen, the dwellers in Manhattan, Or with large steps crossing the prairies out of Illinois and Indiana, Rapidly crossing the West with springy gait and descending the Allghanies, Or down from the great lakes or in Pennsylvania, or on deck along the Ohio river, Or southward along the Tennessee or Cumberland rivers, or at Chattanooga on the mountain top, Saw I your gait and saw I your sinewy limbs…
…stands by its own at all hazards, Stands removed, spacious, composite, sound, initiates the true use of precedents, Does not repel them or the past or what they have produced under their forms, Takes the lesson with calmness, perceives the corpse slowly borne from the house, Perceives that it waits a little while in the door, that it was fittest for its days, That its life has descended to the stalwart and well-shaped heir who approaches, And that he shall be fittest for his days.
…hang from the windows, When Broadway is entirely given up to foot-passengers and foot-standers, when the mass is densest, When the facades of the houses are alive with people, when eyes gaze riveted tens of thousands at a time, When the guests from the islands advance, when the pageant moves forward visible, When the summons is made, when the answer that waited thousands of years answers, I too arising, answering, descend to the pavements, merge with the crowd, and gaze with them.
Again I spring up the rigging to look with the rest—we descend, wild with excitement, I leap in the lower’d boat, we row toward our prey where he lies, We approach stealthy and silent, I see the mountainous mass, lethargic, basking, I see the harpooneer standing up, I see the weapon dart from his vigorous arm; O swift again far out in the ocean the wounded whale, settling, running to windward, tows me, Again I see him rise to breathe, we row close again, I see a lance driven through…
3 Blow trumpeter free and clear, I follow thee, While at thy liquid prelude, glad, serene, The fretting world, the streets, the noisy hours of day withdraw, A holy calm descends like dew upon me, I walk in cool refreshing night the walks of Paradise, I scent the grass, the moist air and the roses; Thy song expands my numb’d imbonded spirit, thou freest, launchest me, Floating and basking upon heaven’s lake.
) I see the clear sunsets of the martyrs, I see from the scaffolds the descending ghosts, Ghosts of dead lords, uncrown’d ladies, impeach’d ministers, rejected kings, Rivals, traitors, poisoners, disgraced chieftains and the rest.
…communion of sorrow and joy, of old and young, A far-stretching journey awaits him, to return no more,) Shunning, postponing severance—seeking to ward off the last word ever so little, E’en at the exit-door turning—charges superfluous calling back— e’en as he descends the steps, Something to eke out a minute additional—shadows of nightfall deepening, Farewells, messages lessening—dimmer the forthgoer’s visage and form, Soon to be lost for aye in the darkness—loth, O so loth to depart!
…tell, gave me an answer, as here translated: I am the Poem of Earth, said the voice of the rain, Eternal I rise impalpable out of the land and the bottomless sea, Upward to heaven, whence, vaguely form’d, altogether changed, and yet the same, I descend to lave the drouths, atomies, dust-layers of the globe, And all that in them without me were seeds only, latent, unborn; And forever, by day and night, I give back life to my own origin, and make pure and beautify it; (For song, issuing…