Anthology of Modern Slavonic Literature in Prose and Verse/Walt Whitman
5. WALT WHITMAN.
Who art thou?—But an atom, quick with song.
What wilt thou?—Naught.—Where flee'st thou?—Back again
To her in whom for ages I had lain,
Ere wonder bore my dreaming sou] along.
What see'st thou?—All, as merged amid one lay.
What creed fulfill'st thou?—Righteousness and toil.
Thy comrade?—All!—Whom meetest thou in broil?—
All men are right, to whomsoe'er they pray.
What rat'st thou highest? Boundless liberty!—
Thou fear'st not death?—'Tis life in other guise.—
What recks thee fame?—Less than an insect's drone.—
Thy laws?—My will can fashion them for me.—
Thy joy?—To watch creations billows rise,
And take its visions for my spirit's own.
"New Sonnets of a Recluse" (1891).