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Leaves of Grass
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Leaves of Grass
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  • I see the place of the idea of the Deity incarnated by avatars in human forms, I see the spots of the successions of priests on the earth, oracles, sacrificers, brahmins, sabians, llamas, monks, muftis, exhorters, I see where druids walk’d the groves of Mona, I see the mistletoe and vervain, I see the temples of the deaths of the bodies of Gods, I see the old signifiers.
  • 2 O but it is not the years—it is I, it is You, We touch all laws and tally all antecedents, We are the skald, the oracle, the monk and the knight, we easily include them and more, We stand amid time beginningless and endless, we stand amid evil and good, All swings around us, there is as much darkness as light, The very sun swings itself and its system of planets around us, Its sun, and its again, all swing around us.
  • …the Alb and the Saxon, With antique maritime ventures, laws, artisanship, wars and journeys, With the poet, the skald, the saga, the myth, and the oracle, With the sale of slaves, with enthusiasts, with the troubadour, the crusader, and the monk, With those old continents whence we have come to this new continent, With the fading kingdoms and kings over there, With the fading religions and priests, With the small shores we look back to from our own large and present shores, With…
  • …thou makest pass before me, Ladies and cavaliers long dead, barons are in their castle halls, the troubadours are singing, Arm’d knights go forth to redress wrongs, some in quest of the holy Graal; I see the tournament, I see the contestants incased in heavy armor seated on stately champing horses, I hear the shouts, the sounds of blows and smiting steel; I see the Crusaders’ tumultuous armies—hark, how the cymbals clang, Lo, where the monks walk in advance, bearing the cross on high.

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  • a Tibetan monk wearing an orange robe
  • a Catholic monk leading a life of austerity

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