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Leaves of Grass 16

Part of the cluster LEAVES OF GRASS.


SEA-WATER, and all living below it, Forests at the bottom of the sea—the branches and  
Sea-lettuce, vast lichens, strange flowers and seeds— 
 the thick tangle, the openings, and the pink turf,
Different colors, pale gray and green, purple, white, 
 and gold—the play of light through the water,
Dumb swimmers there among the rocks—coral, 
 gluten, grass, rushes—and the aliment of the  
Sluggish existences grazing there, suspended, or  
 slowly crawling close to the bottom,
The sperm-whale at the surface, blowing air and  
 spray, or disporting with his flukes,
The leaden-eyed shark, the walrus, the turtle, the  
 hairy sea-leopard, and the sting-ray;
Passions there—wars, pursuits, tribes—sight in  
 those ocean-depths—breathing that thick-breath- 
 ing air, as so many do,
The change thence to the sight here, and to the subtle  
 air breathed by beings like us, who walk this  
The change onward from ours to that of beings who  
 walk other spheres.
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Part of the cluster LEAVES OF GRASS.

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