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Give Me the Splendid Silent Sun.

Part of the cluster DRUM-TAPS.



GIVE me the splendid silent sun with all his beams full-dazzling, Give me juicy autumnal fruit ripe and red from the orchard, Give me a field where the unmow'd grass grows, Give me an arbor, give me the trellis'd grape, Give me fresh corn and wheat, give me serene-moving animals  
 teaching content,
Give me nights perfectly quiet as on high plateaus west of the  
 Mississippi, and I looking up at the stars,
Give me odorous at sunrise a garden of beautiful flowers where I  
 can walk undisturb'd,
Give me for marriage a sweet-breath'd woman of whom I should  
 never tire,
Give me a perfect child, give me away aside from the noise of the  
 world a rural domestic life,
Give me to warble spontaneous songs recluse by myself, for my  
 own ears only,
Give me solitude, give me Nature, give me again O Nature your  
 primal sanities!
These demanding to have them, (tired with ceaseless excitement,  
 and rack'd by the war-strife,)
These to procure incessantly asking, rising in cries from my heart, While yet incessantly asking still I adhere to my city,   [ begin page 245 ]ppp.01663.251.jpg Day upon day and year upon year O city, walking your streets, Where you hold me enchain'd a certain time refusing to give me  
Yet giving to make me glutted, enrich'd of soul, you give me  
 forever faces;
(O I see what I sought to escape, confronting, reversing my cries, I see my own soul trampling down what it ask'd for.)


Keep your splendid silent sun, Keep your woods O Nature, and the quiet places by the  
Keep your fields of clover and timothy, and your corn-fields and  
Keep the blossoming buckwheat fields where the Ninth-month  
 bees hum;
Give me faces and streets—give me these phantoms incessant  
 and endless along the trottoirs!
Give me interminable eyes—give me women—give me comrades  
 and lovers by the thousand!
Let me see new ones every day—let me hold new ones by the  
 hand every day!
Give me such shows—give me the streets of Manhattan! Give me Broadway, with the soldiers marching—give me the  
 sound of the trumpets and drums!
(The soldiers in companies or regiments—some starting away,  
 flush'd and reckless,
Some, their time up, returning with thinn'd ranks, young, yet very  
 old, worn, marching, noticing nothing;)
Give me the shores and wharves heavy-fringed with black  
O such for me! O an intense life, full to repletion and varied! The life of the theatre, bar-room, huge hotel, for me! The saloon of the steamer! the crowded excursion for me! the  
 torchlight procession!
The dense brigade bound for the war, with high piled military  
 wagons following;
People, endless, streaming, with strong voices, passions, pageants, Manhattan streets with their powerful throbs, with beating drums  
 as now,
The endless and noisy chorus, the rustle and clank of muskets,  
 (even the sight of the wounded,)
Manhattan crowds, with their turbulent musical chorus! Manhattan faces and eyes forever for me.

Part of the cluster DRUM-TAPS.

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