Leaves of Grass (1881-82)

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VOCALISM, measure, concentration, determination, and the divine
         power to speak words;
Are you full-lung'd and limber-lipp'd from long trial? from vigor-
         ous practice? from physique?
Do you move in these broad lands as broad as they?
Come duly to the divine power to speak words?
For only at last after many years, after chastity, friendship, procrea-
         tion, prudence, and nakedness,
After treading ground and breasting river and lake,
After a loosen'd throat, after absorbing eras, temperaments, races,
         after knowledge, freedom, crimes,
After complete faith, after clarifyings, elevations, and removing
After these and more, it is just possible there comes to a man, a
         woman, the divine power to speak words;
Then toward that man or that woman swiftly hasten all—none
         refuse, all attend,
Armies, ships, antiquities, libraries, paintings, machines, cities,
         hate, despair, amity, pain, theft, murder, aspiration, form in
         close ranks,
They debouch as they are wanted to march obediently through
         the mouth of that man or that woman.

O what is it in me that makes me tremble so at voices?
Surely whoever speaks to me in the right voice, him or her I shall
As the water follows the moon, silently, with fluid steps, anywhere
         around the globe.

All waits for the right voices;
Where is the practis'd and perfect organ? where is the develop'd
For I see every word utter'd thence has deeper, sweeter, new
         sounds, impossible on less terms.

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I see brains and lips closed, tympans and temples unstruck,
Until that comes which has the quality to strike and to unclose,
Until that comes which has the quality to bring forth what lies
         slumbering forever ready in all words.
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