Published Works

Books by Whitman



- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - [begin page 364] - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -




20.

I SAW in Louisiana a live-oak growing,
All alone stood it, and the moss hung down from the
branches,
Without any companion it grew there, uttering joyous
leaves of dark green,
And its look, rude, unbending, lusty, made me think
of myself,


- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - [begin page 365] - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -



But I wondered how it could utter joyous leaves,
standing alone there, without its friend, its
lover near—for I knew I could not,
And I broke off a twig with a certain number of
leaves upon it, and twined around it a little
moss,
And brought it away—and I have placed it in sight
in my room,
It is not needed to remind me as of my own dear
friends,
(For I believe lately I think of little else than of
them,)
Yet it remains to me a curious token—it makes me
think of manly love;
For all that, and though the live-oak glistens there in
Louisiana, solitary, in a wide flat space,
Uttering joyous leaves all its life, without a friend, a
lover, near,
I know very well I could not.

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.