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Cluster: Leaves of Grass. (1867)

Table of Contents (1867)

Poems in this cluster



O HASTENING light! O free and extatic! O what I here, preparing, warble  
O the sun of the world will ascend, dazzling, and take  
 his height—and you too will ascend!
O so amazing and broad—up there resplendent, dart- 
 ing and burning!
O vision prophetic, stagger'd with weight of light!  
 with pouring glories!
O lips of my soul, already becoming powerless! O ample and grand Presidentiads! New history! new heroes! I project you! Visions of poets! only you really last! O sweep on!  
 sweep on!
O heights too swift and dizzy yet! O purged and luminous! you threaten me more than  
 I can stand!
(I must not venture—the ground under my feet men- 
 aces me—it will not support me;)
O present! I return to you while yet I may!


TEARS! tears! tears! In the night, in solitude, tears; On the white shore dripping, dripping, suck'd in by  
 the sand;
Tears—not a star shining—all dark and desolate; Moist tears from the eyes of a muffled head: —O who is that ghost?—that form in the dark, with  
  [ begin page 250 ]ppp.00473.250.jpg What shapeless lump is that, bent, crouch'd there on  
 the sand?
Streaming tears—sobbing tears—throes, choked with  
 wild cries;
O storm, embodied, rising, careering, with swift steps  
 along the beach;
O wild and dismal night storm, with wind! O belch- 
 ing and desperate!
O shade, so sedate and decorous by day, with calm  
 countenance and regulated pace;
But away, at night, as you fly, none looking—O then  
 the unloosen'd ocean,
Of tears! tears! tears!


1 ABOARD, at the ship's helm, A young steersman, steering with care. 2A bell through fog on a sea-coast dolefully ringing, An ocean-bell—O a warning bell, rock'd by the waves. 3O you give good notice indeed, you bell by the sea- 
 reefs ringing,
Ringing, ringing, to warn the ship from its wreck- 
4For, as on the alert, O steersman, you mind the  
 bell's admonition,
The bows turn,—the freighted ship, tacking, speeds  
 away under her gray sails,
The beautiful and noble ship, with all her precious  
 wealth, speeds away gaily and safe.
5But O the ship, the immortal ship! O ship aboard  
 the ship!
O ship of the body—ship of the soul—voyaging, voy- 
 aging, voyaging.

Table of Contents (1867)

Poems in this cluster

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