I know I am deathless, I know this orbit of mine cannot be swept by a carpenter's compass, I know I shall not pass like a child's carlacue cut with a burnt stick at night. Tenderly will I use you curling grass, It may be you transpire from the breasts of young men, It may be if I had known them I would have loved them, It may be you are from old people, or from offspring taken soon out of their mothers' laps, And here you are the mothers' laps. The drover watching his drove sings out to them that would stray, The pedler sweats with his pack on his back, the purchaser higgling about the odd cent; The bride unrumples her white dress, the minute-hand of the clock moves slowly, The opium-eater reclines with rigid head and just-open'd lips, The prostitute draggles her shawl, her bonnet bobs on her tipsy and pimpled neck, The crowd laugh at her blackguard oaths, the men jeer and wink to each other, Miserable! Things don't get less serious in They are alive and well somewhere, The smallest sprout shows there is really no death, And if ever there was it led forward life, and does not wait at the end to arrest it, And ceas'd the moment life appear'd.
A word of the faith that never balks, Here or henceforward it is all the same to me, I accept Time absolutely.
Song of Myself
Our Word of the Year was exposurewhich highlighted the year's Ebola virus outbreak, shocking acts of violence both abroad and in the US, and widespread theft of personal information. Do you take it I would astonish? The smoke of my own breath, Echoes, ripples, buzz'd whispers, love-root, silk-thread, crotch and vine, My respiration and inspiration, the beating of my heart, the passing of blood and air through my lungs, The sniff of green leaves and dry leaves, and of the shore and dark-color'd sea-rocks, and of hay in the barn, The sound of the belch'd words of my voice loos'd to the eddies of the wind, A few light kisses, a few embraces, a reaching around of arms, The play of shine and shade on the trees as the supple boughs wag, The delight alone or in the rush of the streets, or along the fields and hill-sides, The feeling of health, the full-noon trill, the song of me rising from bed and meeting the sun. I hear the chorus, it is a grand opera, Ah this indeed is music--this suits me. I am not an earth nor an adjunct of an earth, I am the mate and companion of people, all just as immortal and fathomless as myself, They do not know how immortal, but I know. Cycles ferried my cradle, rowing and rowing like cheerful boatmen, For room to me stars kept aside in their own rings, They sent influences to look after what was to hold me.