LEAVES OF GRASS

INSCRIPTIONS

ONE'S-SELF I SING

ONE'S-SELF I sing, a simple separate person,
Yet utter the word Democratic, the word En-Masse.

Of physiology from top to toe I sing,
Not physiognomy alone nor brain alone is worthy for the
Muse,

I say the Form complete is worthier far,
The Female equally with the Male I sing.

Of Life immense in passion, pulse, and power,
Cheerful, for freest action form'd under the laws divine,
The Modern Man I sing.


AS I PONDER'D IN SILENCE

As I ponder'd in silence,
Returning upon my poems, considering, lingering long,
A Phantom arose before me with distrustful aspect,
Terrible in beauty, age, and power,
The genius of poets of old lands,
As to me directing like flame its eyes,
With finger pointing to many immortal songs,
And menacing voice, What singest thou? it said,
Know'st thou not there is but one theme for ever-enduring bards?

And that is the theme of War, the fortune of battles,
The making of perfect soldiers.

Be it so, then I answer'd,
I too haughty Shade also sing war, and a longer and greater
one than any
,

-1-

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Leaves of Grass
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page I
  • Introduction III
  • Contents xiii
  • Leaves of Grass 1
  • Children of Adam 79
  • Calamus 97
  • Birds of Passage 195
  • Sea-Drift 213
  • Drum-Taps 239
  • Memories of President Lincoln 278
  • Index of First Lines 305
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