Daily Whitman


This Compost

  Behold this compost! behold it well!
  Perhaps every mite has once form'd part of a sick person—yet behold!
  The grass of spring covers the prairies,
  The bean bursts noiselessly through the mould in the garden,
  The delicate spear of the onion pierces upward,
  The apple-buds cluster together on the apple-branches,
  The resurrection of the wheat appears with pale visage out of its graves,
  The tinge awakes over the willow-tree and the mulberry-tree,
  The he-birds carol mornings and evenings while the she-birds sit on
      their nests,
  The young of poultry break through the hatch'd eggs,
  The new-born of animals appear, the calf is dropt from the cow, the
      colt from the mare,
  Out of its little hill faithfully rise the potato's dark green leaves,
  Out of its hill rises the yellow maize-stalk, the lilacs bloom in
      the dooryards,
  The summer growth is innocent and disdainful above all those strata
      of sour dead.

  What chemistry!
  That the winds are really not infectious,
  That this is no cheat, this transparent green-wash of the sea which
      is so amorous after me,
  That it is safe to allow it to lick my naked body all over with its tongues,
  That it will not endanger me with the fevers that have deposited
      themselves in it,
  That all is clean forever and forever,
  That the cool drink from the well tastes so good,
  That blackberries are so flavorous and juicy,
  That the fruits of the apple-orchard and the orange-orchard, that
      melons, grapes, peaches, plums, will none of them poison me,
  That when I recline on the grass I do not catch any disease,
  Though probably every spear of grass rises out of what was once
      catching disease.

  Now I am terrified at the Earth, it is that calm and patient,
  It grows such sweet things out of such corruptions,
  It turns harmless and stainless on its axis, with such endless
      successions of diseas'd corpses,
  It distills such exquisite winds out of such infused fetor,
  It renews with such unwitting looks its prodigal, annual, sumptuous crops,
  It gives such divine materials to men, and accepts such leavings
      from them at last.

Posted on 10/04/2015, in literature, poetry and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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