Leaves of Grass.
I am sorry for you.... they are not murderous or jealous upon me;
All has been gentle with me ...... I keep no account with lamentation;
What have I to do with lamentation?
I am an acme of things accomplished, and I an encloser of things to be.
My feet strike an apex of the apices of the stairs,
On every step bunches of ages, and larger bunches between the steps,
All below duly traveled – and still I mount and mount.
Rise after rise bow the phantoms behind me,
Afar down I see the huge first Nothing, the vapor from the nostrils of death,
I know I was even there .... I waited unseen and always,
And slept while God carried me through the lethargic mist,
And took my time .... and took no hurt from the fœtid carbon.
Long I was hugged close .... long and long.
Immense have been the preparations for me,
Faithful and friendly the arms that have helped me.
Cycles ferried my cradle, sowing 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.
Before I was born out of my mother generations guided me,
My embryo has never been torpid .... nothing could overlay it;
For it the nebula cohered to an orb .... the long slow strata piled to rest it on .... vast vegetables gave it sustenance,
Monstrous sauroids transported it in their mouths and deposited it with care.
All forces have been steadily employed to complete and delight me,
Now I stand on this spot with my soul.
Span of youth! Ever-pushed elasticity! Manhood balanced and florid and full!
My lovers suffocate me!
Crowding my lips, and thick in the pores of my skin,
Jostling me through streets and public halls .... coming naked to me at night,
Crying by day Ahoy from the rocks of the river .... swinging and chirping over my head,
Calling my name from flowerbeds or vines or tangled underbrush,
Or while I swim in the bath .... or drink from the pump at the corner .... or the curtain is down at the opera .... or I glimpse at a woman’s face in the railroad car;