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Leaves of Grass.


Young fellows working on farms and old fellows working on farms;
The naive .... the simple and hardy .... he going to the polls to vote .... he who has a good time, and he who has a bad time;
Mechanics, southerners, new arrivals, sailors, mano’warsmen, merchantmen, coasters,
All these I see .... but nigher and farther the same I see;
None shall escape me, and none shall wish to escape me.

I bring what you much need, yet always have,
I bring not money or amours or dress or eating .... but I bring as good;
And send no agent or medium .... and offer no representative of value – but offer the value itself.

There is something that comes home to one now and perpetually,
It is not what is printed or preached or discussed .... it eludes discussion and print,
It is not to be put in a book .... it is not in this book,
It is for you whoever you are .... it is no farther from you than your hearing and sight are from you,
It is hinted by nearest and commonest and readiest .... it is not them, though it is endlessly provoked by them .... What is there ready and near you now?

You may read in many languages and read nothing about it;
You may read the President’s message and read nothing about it there,
Nothing in the reports from the state department or treasury department .... or in the daily papers, or the weekly papers,
Or in the census returns or assessors’ returns or prices current or any accounts of stock.

The sun and stars that float in the open air .... the appleshaped earth and we upon it .... surely the drift of them is something grand;
I do not know what it is except that it is grand, and that it is happiness,
And that the enclosing purport of us here is not a speculation, or bon-mot or reconnoissance,
And that it is not something which by luck may turn out well for us, and without luck must be a failure for us,
And not something which may yet be retracted in a certain contingency.

The light and shade – the curious sense of body and identity – the greed that with perfect complaisance devours all things – the endless pride and outstretching of man – unspeakable joys and sorrows,
The wonder every one sees in every one else he sees .... and the wonders that fill each minute of time forever and each acre of surface and space forever,