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These I Singing in Spring.

Part of the cluster CALAMUS.


THESE I singing in spring collect for lovers, (For who but I should understand lovers and all their sorrow and  
And who but I should be the poet of comrades?) Collecting I traverse the garden the world, but soon I pass the  
Now along the pond-side, now wading in a little, fearing not the  
Now by the post-and-rail fences where the old stones thrown there, 
 pick'd from the fields, have accumulated,
(Wild-flowers and vines and weeds come up through the stones  
 and partly cover them, beyond these I pass,)
Far, far in the forest, or sauntering later in summer, before I think  
 where I go,
Solitary, smelling the earthy smell, stopping now and then in the  
Alone I had thought, yet soon a troop gathers around me, Some walk by my side and some behind, and some embrace my  
 arms or neck,
They the spirits of dear friends dead or alive, thicker they come, 
 a great crowd, and I in the middle,
Collecting, dispensing, singing, there I wander with them, Plucking something for tokens, tossing toward whoever is near me, Here, lilac, with a branch of pine,   [ begin page 100 ]ppp.00707.108.jpg Here, out of my pocket, some moss which I pull'd off a live-oak  
 in Florida as it hung trailing down,
Here, some pinks and laurel leaves, and a handful of sage, And here what I now draw from the water, wading in the pond- 
(O here I last saw him that tenderly loves me, and returns again  
 never to separate from me,
And this, O this shall henceforth be the token of comrades, this  
 calamus-root shall,
Interchange it youths with each other! let none render it back!) And twigs of maple and a bunch of wild orange and chestnut, And stems of currants and plum-blows, and the aromatic cedar, These I compass'd around by a thick cloud of spirits, Wandering, point to or touch as I pass, or throw them loosely  
 from me,
Indicating to each one what he shall have, giving something to  
But what I drew from the water by the pond-side, that I reserve, I will give of it, but only to them that love as I myself am capable  
 of loving.

Part of the cluster CALAMUS.

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