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Leaves of Grass
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Leaves of Grass
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  • What gods can exceed these that clasp me by the hand, and with voices I love call me promptly and loudly by my nighest name as approach?
  • 7 Closer yet I approach you, What thought you have of me now, I had as much of you—I laid in my stores in advance, I consider’d long and seriously of you before you were born.

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  • Approach strong deliveress, When it is so, when thou hast taken them I joyously sing the dead, Lost in the loving floating ocean of thee, Laved in the flood of thy bliss O death.
  • Now loud approaching drums, Victoria! seest thou in powder-smoke the banners torn but flying? the rout of the baffled?
  • Queries to My Seventieth Year Approaching, nearing, curious, Thou dim, uncertain spectre—bringest thou life or death?
  • And that you or any one must approach creations through such laws?
  • In vain the speeding or shyness, In vain the plutonic rocks send their old heat against my approach, In vain the mastodon retreats beneath its own powder’d bones, In vain objects stand leagues off and assume manifold shapes, In vain the ocean settling in hollows and the great monsters lying low, In vain the buzzard houses herself with the sky, In vain the snake slides through the creepers and logs, In vain the elk takes to the inner passes of the woods, In vain the razor-bill’d auk…
  • …cuts like a black chip out of the water, Where the half-burn’d brig is riding on unknown currents, Where shells grow to her slimy deck, where the dead are corrupting below; Where the dense-starr’d flag is borne at the head of the regiments, Approaching Manhattan up by the long-stretching island, Under Niagara, the cataract falling like a veil over my countenance, Upon a door-step, upon the horse-block of hard wood outside, Upon the race-course, or enjoying picnics or jigs or a good…
  • …the clear atmosphere I stretch around on the wonderful beauty, The enormous masses of ice pass me and I pass them, the scenery is plain in all directions, The white-topt mountains show in the distance, I fling out my fancies toward them, We are approaching some great battle-field in which we are soon to be engaged, We pass the colossal outposts of the encampment, we pass with still feet and caution, Or we are entering by the suburbs some vast and ruin’d city, The blocks and fallen…
  • A Glimpse A glimpse through an interstice caught, Of a crowd of workmen and drivers in a bar-room around the stove late of a winter night, and I unremark’d seated in a corner, Of a youth who loves me and whom I love, silently approaching and seating himself near, that he may hold me by the hand, A long while amid the noises of coming and going, of drinking and oath and smutty jest, There we two, content, happy in being together, speaking little, perhaps not a word.

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  • …rock in the open air, (For in any roof’d room of a house I emerge not, nor in company, And in libraries I lie as one dumb, a gawk, or unborn, or dead,) But just possibly with you on a high hill, first watching lest any person for miles around approach unawares, Or possibly with you sailing at sea, or on the beach of the sea or some quiet island, Here to put your lips upon mine I permit you, With the comrade’s long-dwelling kiss or the new husband’s kiss, For I am the new husband and I…
  • …round the shape of my head in the sunlit water, Look’d on the haze on the hills southward and south-westward, Look’d on the vapor as it flew in fleeces tinged with violet, Look’d toward the lower bay to notice the vessels arriving, Saw their approach, saw aboard those that were near me, Saw the white sails of schooners and sloops, saw the ships at anchor, The sailors at work in the rigging or out astride the spars, The round masts, the swinging motion of the hulls, the slender…
  • …upon the land, I them chanting, The overture lightly sounding, the strain anticipating, The welcome nearness, the sight of the perfect body, The swimmer swimming naked in the bath, or motionless on his back lying and floating, The female form approaching, I pensive, love-flesh tremulous aching, The divine list for myself or you or for any one making, The face, the limbs, the index from head to foot, and what it arouses, The mystic deliria, the madness amorous, the utter abandonment,…
  • …the adulterous wish, not wanting, Refusals, hates, postponements, meanness, laziness, none of these wanting, Was one with the rest, the days and haps of the rest, Was call’d by my nighest name by clear loud voices of young men as they saw me approaching or passing, Felt their arms on my neck as I stood, or the negligent leaning of their flesh against me as I sat, Saw many I loved in the street or ferry-boat or public assembly, yet never told them a word, Lived the same life with the…
  • I understand your anguish, but I cannot help you, I approach, hear, behold, the sad mouth, the look out of the eyes, your mute inquiry, Whither I go from the bed I recline on, come tell me,— Old age, alarm’d, uncertain—a young woman’s voice, appealing to me for comfort; A young man’s voice, Shall I not escape?
  • …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.
  • …ranks, return, return from the battles, As the muskets of the young men yet lean over their shoulders, As I look on the bayonets bristling over their shoulders, As those slanted bayonets, whole forests of them appearing in the distance, approach and pass on, returning homeward, Moving with steady motion, swaying to and fro to the right and left, Evenly lightly rising and falling while the steps keep time; Spirit of hours I knew, all hectic red one day, but pale as death next day,…
  • 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…
  • …heavenly aerial beauty, (after the perturb’d winds and the storms,) Under the arching heavens of the afternoon swift passing, and the voices of children and women, The many-moving sea-tides, and I saw the ships how they sail’d, And the summer approaching with richness, and the fields all busy with labor, And the infinite separate houses, how they all went on, each with its meals and minutia of daily usages, And the streets how their throbbings throbb’d, and the cities pent— lo, then…
  • Seen at hand or seen at a distance, Duly the twenty-four appear in public every day, Duly approach and pass with their companions or a companion, Looking from no countenances of their own, but from the countenances of those who are with them, From the countenances of children or women or the manly countenance, From the open countenances of animals or from inanimate things, From the landscape or waters or from the exquisite apparition of the sky, From our countenances, mine and yours,…
  • …war and worse than war shall cover thee all over, (Wert capable of war, its tug and trials? be capable of peace, its trials, For the tug and mortal strain of nations come at last in prosperous peace, not war;) In many a smiling mask death shall approach beguiling thee, thou in disease shalt swelter, The livid cancer spread its hideous claws, clinging upon thy breasts, seeking to strike thee deep within, Consumption of the worst, moral consumption, shall rouge thy face with hectic, But…
  • ) As Adam Early in the Morning As Adam early in the morning, Walking forth from the bower refresh’d with sleep, Behold me where I pass, hear my voice, approach, Touch me, touch the palm of your hand to my body as I pass, Be not afraid of my body.
  • ) I saw the interminable corps, I saw the processions of armies, I saw them approaching, defiling by with divisions, Streaming northward, their work done, camping awhile in clusters of mighty camps.
  • ) I see Freedom, completely arm’d and victorious and very haughty, with Law on one side and Peace on the other, A stupendous trio all issuing forth against the idea of caste; What historic denouements are these we so rapidly approach?
  • …lips pronouncing a death-sentence, The heave’e’yo of stevedores unlading ships by the wharves, the refrain of the anchor-lifters, The ring of alarm-bells, the cry of fire, the whirr of swift-streaking engines and hose-carts with premonitory tinkles and color’d lights, The steam-whistle, the solid roll of the train of approaching cars, The slow march play’d at the head of the association marching two and two, (They go to guard some corpse, the flag-tops are draped with black muslin.

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To see samples from other sources, click a word sense below:
as in: approached the city Define
to come near or nearer
as in: use the best approach Define
a way of doing something; or a rout that leads to a particular place
as in: approached her with the proposal Define
to speak with someone about something for the first time -- such as a proposal -- often something discussed in a delicate, tentative way
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