Published Works

Books by Whitman



- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - [begin page 229] - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -




12.

1THIS night I am happy;
As I walk the beach where the old mother sways to
and fro, singing her savage and husky song,
As I watch the stars shining—I think a thought of
the clef of the universes, and of the future.

2What can the future bring me more than I have?
Do you suppose I wish to enjoy life in other spheres?

3I say distinctly I comprehend no better sphere than
this earth,
I comprehend no better life than the life of my body.

4I do not know what follows the death of my body,
But I know well that whatever it is, it is best for me,
And I know well that whatever is really Me shall live
just as much as before.

5I am not uneasy but I shall have good housing to
myself,
But this is my first—how can I like the rest any
better?
Here I grew up—the studs and rafters are grown
parts of me.

6I am not uneasy but I am to be beloved by young and
old men, and to love them the same,


- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - [begin page 230] - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -



I suppose the pink nipples of the breasts of women
with whom I shall sleep will touch the side of my
face the same,
But this is the nipple of a breast of my mother, always
near and always divine to me, her true child and
son, whatever comes.

7I suppose I am to be eligible to visit the stars, in my
time,
I suppose I shall have myriads of new experiences—
and that the experience of this earth will prove
only one out of myriads;
But I believe my body and my Soul already indicate
those experiences,
And I believe I shall find nothing in the stars more
majestic and beautiful than I have already found
on the earth,
And I believe I have this night a clew through the
universes,
And I believe I have this night thought a thought of
the clef of eternity.

8A VAST SIMILITUDE interlocks all,
All spheres, grown, ungrown, small, large, suns,
moons, planets, comets, asteroids,
All the substances of the same, and all that is spiritual,
upon the same,
All distances of place, however wide,
All distances of time—all inanimate forms,
All Souls—all living bodies, though they be ever so
different, or in different worlds,
All gaseous, watery, vegetable, mineral processes—
the fishes, the brutes,


- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - [begin page 231] - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -



All men and women—me also,
All nations, colors, barbarisms, civilizations, languages,
All identities that have existed, or may exist, on this
globe or any globe,
All lives and deaths—all of past, present, future,
This vast similitude spans them, and always has
spanned, and shall forever span them, and
compactly hold them.

Comments?

Published Works | In Whitman's Hand | Life & Letters | Commentary | Resources | Pictures & Sound

Support the Archive | About the Archive

Distributed under a Creative Commons License. Ed Folsom & Kenneth M. Price, editors.