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LEAVES OF GRASS.


I SIT AND LOOK OUT.

I SIT and look out upon all the sorrows of the world,
and upon all oppression and shame;
I hear secret convulsive sobs from young men, at an-
guish with themselves, remorseful after deeds
done;
I see, in low life, the mother misused by her children,
dying, neglected, gaunt, desperate;
I see the wife misused by her husband—I see the
treacherous seducer of young women;
I mark the ranklings of jealousy and unrequited love,
attempted to be hid—I see these sights on the
earth;
I see the workings of battle, pestilence, tyranny—I see
martyrs and prisoners;
I observe a famine at sea—I observe the sailors casting
lots who shall be kill'd, to preserve the lives of
the rest;
I observe the slights and degradations cast by arrogant
persons upon laborers, the poor, and upon ne-
groes, and the like;
All these—All the meanness and agony without end, I
sitting, look out upon,
See, hear, and am silent.


ME IMPERTURBE.

ME imperturbe, standing at ease in Nature,
Master of all, or mistress of all—aplomb in the midst
of irrational things,
Imbued as they—passive, receptive, silent as they,
Finding my occupation, poverty, notoriety, foibles,
crimes, less important than I thought;


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Me private, or public, or menial, or solitary—all these
subordinate, (I am eternally equal with the best
—I am not subordinate;)
Me toward the Mexican Sea, or in the Mannahatta, or
the Tennessee, or far north, or inland,
A river man, or a man of the woods, or of any farm-life
of These States, or of the coast, or the lakes, or
Kanada,
Me, wherever my life is lived, O to be self-balanced for
contingencies!
O to confront night, storms, hunger, ridicule, accidents,
rebuffs, as the trees and animals do.


As I Lay with my Head in your Lap, Camerado.

As I lay with my head in your lap, Camerado,
The confession I made I resume—what I said to you
and the open air I resume:
I know I am restless, and make others so;
I know my words are weapons, full of danger, full of
death;
(Indeed I am myself the real soldier:
It is not he, there, with his bayonet, and not the red-
striped artilleryman;)
For I confront peace, security, and all the settled laws,
to unsettle them;
I am more resolute because all have denied me, than I
could ever have been had all accepted me;
I heed not, and have never heeded, either experience,
cautions, majorities, nor ridicule;
And the threat of what is call'd hell is little or nothing
to me;
And the lure of what is call'd heaven is little or nothing
to me;
…Dear camerado! I confess I have urged you onward
with me, and still urge you, without the least
idea what is our destination,
Or whether we shall be victorious, or utterly quell'd and
defeated.

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