Leaves of Grass.
To think of time .... to think through the retrospection,
To think of today .. and the ages continued henceforward.
Have you guessed you yourself would not continue? Have you dreaded those earth-beetles?
Have you feared the future would be nothing to you?
Is today nothing? Is the beginningless past nothing?
If the future is nothing they are just as surely nothing.
To think that the sun rose in the cast .... that men and women were flexible and real and alive .... that every thing was real and alive;
To think that you and I did not see feel think nor bear our part,
To think that we are now here and bear our part.
Not a day passes .. not a minute or second without an accouchement;
Not a day passes .. not a minute or second without a corpse.
When the dull nights are over, and the duff days also,
When the soreness of lying so much in bed is over,
When the physician, after long putting off, gives the silent and terrible look for an answer,
When the children come hurried and weeping, and the brothers and sisters have been sent for,
When medicines stand unused on the shelf, and the camphor-smell has pervaded the rooms,
When the faithful hand of the living does not desert the hand of the dying,
When the twitching lips press lightly on the forehead of the dying,
When the breath ceases and the pulse of the heart ceases,
Then the corpse-limbs stretch on the bed, and the living look upon them,
They are palpable as the living are palpable.