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Leaves of Grass.

I roll myself upon you as upon a bed .... I resign myself to the dusk.

He whom I call answers me and takes the place of my lover,
He rises with me silently from the bed.

Darkness you are gentler than my lover .... his flesh was sweaty and panting,
I feel the hot moisture yet that he left me.

My hands are spread forth .. I pass them in all directions,
I would sound up the shadowy shore to which you are journeying.

Be careful, darkness .... already, what was it touched me?
I thought my lover had gone .... else darkness and he are one,
I hear the heart-beat .... I follow .. I fade away.

O hotcheeked and blushing! O foolish hectic!
O for pity’s sake, no one must see me now! .... my clothes were stolen while I was abed,
Now I am thrust forth, where shall I run?

Pier that I saw dimly last night when I looked from the windows,
Pier out from the main, let me catch myself with you and stay .... I will not chafe you;
I feel ashamed to go naked about the world,
And am curious to know where my feet stand .... and what is this flooding me, childhood or manhood .... and the hunger that crosses the bridge between.

The cloth laps a first sweet eating and drinking,
Laps life-swelling yolks .... laps car of rose-corn, milky and just ripened:
The white teeth stay, and the boss-tooth advances in darkness,
And liquor is spilled on lips and bosoms by touching glasses, and the best liquor afterward.

I descend my western course .... my sinews are flaccid,
Perfume and youth course through me, and I am their wake.

It is my face yellow and wrinkled instead of the old woman’s,
I sit low in a strawbottom chair and carefully darn my grandson’s stockings.

It is I too .... the sleepless widow looking out on the winter midnight,
I see the sparkles of starshine on the icy and pallid earth.

A shroud I see – and I am the shroud .... I wrap a body and lie in the coffin;
It is dark here underground .... it is not evil or pain here .... it is black here, for reasons.