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LEAVES OF GRASS.


O ME! O LIFE!

O ME! O life!…of the questions of these recurring;
Of the endless trains of the faithless—of cities fill'd with
the foolish;
Of myself forever reproaching myself, (for who more
foolish than I, and who more faithless?)
Of eyes that vainly crave the light—of the objects mean
—of the struggle ever renew'd;
Of the poor results of all—of the plodding and sordid
crowds I see around me;
Of the empty and useless years of the rest—with the
rest me intertwined;
The question, O me! so sad, recurring—What good
amid these, O me, O life?


Answer.

That you are here—that life exists, and identity;
That the powerful play goes on, and you will contribute
a verse.



THOUGHTS.

OF Public Opinion;
Of a calm and cool fiat, sooner or later, (How impas-
sive! How certain and final!)
Of the President with pale face, asking secretly to him-
self, What will the people say at last?


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Of the frivolous Judge—Of the corrupt Congressman,
Governor, Mayor—Of such as these, standing
helpless and exposed;
Of the mumbling and screaming priest—(soon, soon
deserted;)
Of the lessening, year by year, of venerableness, and of
the dicta of officers, statutes, pulpits, schools;
Of the rising forever taller and stronger and broader,
of the intuitions of men and women, and of self-
esteem, and of personality;
—Of the New World—Of the Democracies, resplendent,
en-masse;
Of the conformity of politics, armies, navies, to them
and to me,
Of the shining sun by them—Of the inherent light,
greater than the rest,
Of the envelopment of all by them, and of the effusion
of all from them.


BEGINNERS.

How they are provided for upon the earth, (appearing
at intervals;)
How dear and dreadful they are to the earth;
How they inure to themselves as much as to any—
What a paradox appears, their age;
How people respond to them, yet know them not;
How there is something relentless in their fate, all
times;
How all times mischoose the objects of their adulation
and reward,
And how the same inexorable price must still be paid
for the same great purchase.

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