By Blue Ontario’s Shore
14 Fall behind me States! A man before all—myself, typical, before all. Give me the pay I have served for, Give me to sing the songs of the great Idea, take all the rest, I have loved the earth, sun, animals, I have despised riches, I have given aims to every one that ask'd, stood up for the stupid and crazy, devoted my income and labor to others, Hated tyrants, argued not concerning God, had patience and indulgence toward the people, taken off my hat to nothing known or unknown, Gone freely with powerful uneducated persons and with the young, and with the mothers of families, Read these leaves to myself in the open air, tried them by trees, stars, rivers, Dismiss'd whatever insulted my own soul or defiled my body, Claim'd nothing to myself which I have not carefully claim'd for others on the same terms, Sped to the camps, and comrades found and accepted from every State, (Upon this breast has many a dying soldier lean'd to breathe his last, This arm, this hand, this voice, have nourish'd, rais'd, restored, To life recalling many a prostrate form;) I am willing to wait to be understood by the growth of the taste of myself, Rejecting none, permitting all. (Say O Mother, have I not to your thought been faithful? Have I not through life kept you and yours before me?)
Posted on 20/03/2015, 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. Leave a comment.