Page:Leaves of Grass (1855).djvu/69

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

Leaves of Grass.


The veneer and gluepot .. the confectioner’s ornaments .. the decanter and glasses .. the shears and flatiron;
The awl and kneestrap .. the pint measure and quart measure .. the counter and stool .. the writingpen of quill or metal;
Billiards and tenpins .... the ladders and hanging ropes of the gymnasium, and the manly exercises;
The designs for wallpapers or oilcloths or carpets .... the fancies for goods for women .... the bookbinder’s stamps;
Leatherdressing, coachmaking, boilermaking, ropetwisting, distilling, signpainting, limeburning, coopering, cottonpicking,
The walkingbeam of the steam-engine .. the throttle and governors, and the up and down rods,
Stavemachines and plainingmachines .... the cart of the carman .. the omnibus .. the ponderous dray;
The snowplough and two engines pushing it .... the ride in the express train of only one car .... the swift go through a howling storm:
The bearhunt or coonhunt .... the bonfire of shavings in the open lot in the city .. the crowd of children watching;
The blows of the fighting-man .. the upper cut and one-two-three;
The shopwindows .... the coffins in the sexton’s wareroom .... the fruit on the fruitstand .... the beef on the butcher’s stall,
The bread and cakes in the bakery .... the white and red pork in the pork-store;
The milliner’s ribbons .. the dressmaker’s patterns .... the tea-table .. the homemade sweetmeats:
The column of wants in the one-cent paper .. the news by telegraph .... the amusements and operas and shows:
The cotton and woolen and linen you wear .... the money you make and spend;
Your room and bedroom .... your piano-forte .... the stove and cookpans,
The house you live in .... the rent .... the other tenants .... the deposite in the savings-bank .... the trade at the grocery,
The pay on Saturday night .... the going home, and the purchases;
In them the heft of the heaviest .... in them far more than you estimated, and far less also,
In them, not yourself .... you and your soul enclose all things, regardless of estimation,
In them your themes and hints and provokers .. if not, the whole earth has no themes or hints or provokers, and never had.

I do not affirm what you see beyond is futile .... I do not advise you to stop,
I do not say leadings you thought great are not great,
But I say that none lead to greater or sadder or happier than those lead to.

Will you seek afar off? You surely come back at last,
In things best known to you finding the best or as good as the best,