Leaves of Grass (1881-82)

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WHEN I heard at the close of the day how my name had been
         receiv'd with plaudits in the capitol, still it was not a happy
         night for me that follow'd,
And else when I carous'd, or when my plans were accomplish'd,
         still I was not happy,

View Page 103
View Page 103

But the day when I rose at dawn from the bed of perfect health,
         refresh'd, singing, inhaling the ripe breath of autumn,
When I saw the full moon in the west grow pale and disappear in
         the morning light,
When I wander'd alone over the beach, and undressing bathed,
         laughing with the cool waters, and saw the sun rise,
And when I thought how my dear friend my lover was on his way
         coming, O then I was happy,
O then each breath tasted sweeter, and all that day my food
         nourish'd me more, and the beautiful day pass'd well,
And the next came with equal joy, and with the next at evening
         came my friend,
And that night while all was still I heard the waters roll slowly
         continually up the shores,
I heard the hissing rustle of the liquid and sands as directed to
         me whispering to congratulate me,
For the one I love most lay sleeping by me under the same cover
         in the cool night,
In the stillness in the autumn moonbeams his face was inclined
         toward me,
And his arm lay lightly around my breast—and that night I was
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