Leaves of Grass (1881-82)

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CHANTING the square deific, out of the One advancing, out of the
Out of the old and new, out of the square entirely divine,
Solid, four-sided, (all the sides needed,) from this side Jehovah
         am I,
Old Brahm I, and I Saturnius am;
Not Time affects me—I am Time, old, modern as any,
Unpersuadable, relentless, executing righteous judgments,
As the Earth, the Father, the brown old Kronos, with laws,
Aged beyond computation, yet ever new, ever with those mighty
         laws rolling,
Relentless I forgive no man—whoever sins dies—I will have
         that man's life;
Therefore let none expect mercy—have the seasons, gravitation,
         the appointed days, mercy? no more have I,
But as the seasons and gravitation, and as all the appointed days
         that forgive not,
I dispense from this side judgments inexorable without the least

Consolator most mild, the promis'd one advancing,
With gentle hand extended, the mightier God am I,
Foretold by prophets and poets in their most rapt prophecies and
From this side, lo! the Lord Christ gazes—lo! Hermes I—lo!
         mine is Hercules' face,
All sorrow, labor, suffering, I, tallying it, absorb in myself,
Many times have I been rejected, taunted, put in prison, and
         crucified, and many times shall be again,
All the world have I given up for my dear brothers' and sisters'
         sake, for the soul's sake,
Wending my way through the homes of men, rich or poor, with
         the kiss of affection,
For I am affection, I am the cheer-bringing God, with hope and
         all-enclosing charity,
With indulgent words as to children, with fresh and sane words,
         mine only,
Young and strong I pass knowing well I am destin'd myself to an
         early death;
But my charity has no death—my wisdom dies not, neither early
         nor late,
And my sweet love bequeath'd here and elsewhere never dies.

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Aloof, dissatisfied, plotting revolt,
Comrade of criminals, brother of slaves,
Crafty, despised, a drudge, ignorant,
With sudra face and worn brow, black, but in the depths of my
         heart, proud as any,
Lifted now and always against whoever scorning assumes to rule me,
Morose, full of guile, full of reminiscences, brooding, with many
(Though it was thought I was baffled and dispel'd, and my wiles
         done, but that will never be,)
Defiant, I, Satan, still live, still utter words, in new lands duly
         appearing, (and old ones also,)
Permanent here from my side, warlike, equal with any, real as any,
Nor time nor change shall ever change me or my words.

Santa Spirita, breather, life,
Beyond the light, lighter than light,
Beyond the flames of hell, joyous, leaping easily above hell,
Beyond Paradise, perfumed solely with mine own perfume,
Including all life on earth, touching, including God, including
         Saviour and Satan,
Ethereal, pervading all, (for without me what were all? what were
Essence of forms, life of the real identities, permanent, positive,
         (namely the unseen,)
Life of the great round world, the sun and stars, and of man,
         I, the general soul,
Here the square finishing, the solid, I the most solid,
Breathe my breath also through these songs.
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