Hold it up sternly—see this it sends back, (who is it? is it you?) Outside fair costume, within ashes and filth, No more a flashing eye, no more a sonorous voice or springy step, Now some slave's eye, voice, hands, step, A drunkard's breath, unwholesome eater's face, venerealee's flesh, Lungs rotting away piecemeal, stomach sour and cankerous, Joints rheumatic, bowels clogged with abomination, Blood circulating dark and poisonous streams, Words babble, hearing and touch callous, No brain, no heart left, no magnetism of sex; Such from one look in this looking-glass ere you go hence, Such a result so soon—and from such a beginning!
Posted on 02/12/2014, in literature, poetry and tagged 19th Century Poetry, American literature, American poets, Daily Whitman, free verse, Leaves of Grass, literature, poems, poetry, Transcendentalists, Walt Whitman. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.