Published Works

Books by Whitman



- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - [begin page 213] - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -




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 cankerous,
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.