Published Works

Books by Whitman



- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - [begin page 260] - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -




A HAND-MIRROR.

HOLD it up sternly! See this it sends back! (Who is
it? Is it you?)
Outside fair costume—within ashes and filth,
No more a flashing eye—no more a sonorous voice or
springy step;
Now some slave's eye, voice, hands, step,
A drunkard's breath, unwholesome eater's face,
venerealee's flesh,
Lungs rotting away piecemeal, stomach sour and can-
kerous,
Joints rheumatic, bowels clogged with abomination,
Blood circulating dark and poisonous streams,
Words babble, hearing and touch callous,
No brain, no heart left—no magnetism of sex;
Such, from one look in this looking-glass ere you go
hence,
Such a result so soon—and from such a beginning!

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.