Leaves of Grass (1881-82)

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THAT music always round me, unceasing, unbeginning, yet long
         untaught I did not hear,
But now the chorus I hear and am elated,
A tenor, strong, ascending with power and health, with glad notes
         of daybreak I hear,
A soprano at intervals sailing buoyantly over the tops of immense
A transparent base shuddering lusciously under and through the
The triumphant tutti, the funeral wailings with sweet flutes and
         violins, all these I fill myself with,
I hear not the volumes of sound merely, I am moved by the
         exquisite meanings,
I listen to the different voices winding in and out, striving, contend-
         ing with fiery vehemence to excel each other in emotion;
I do not think the performers know themselves—but now I think
         I begin to know them.
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