Leaves of Grass

Contents:
Author: Walt Whitman

40

Flaunt of the sunshine I need not your bask—lie over!
You light surfaces only, I force surfaces and depths also.

Earth! you seem to look for something at my hands,
Say, old top-knot, what do you want?

Man or woman, I might tell how I like you, but cannot,
And might tell what it is in me and what it is in you, but cannot,
And might tell that pining I have, that pulse of my nights and days.

Behold, I do not give lectures or a little charity,
When I give I give myself.

You there, impotent, loose in the knees,
Open your scarf’d chops till I blow grit within you,
Spread your palms and lift the flaps of your pockets,
I am not to be denied, I compel, I have stores plenty and to spare,
And any thing I have I bestow.

I do not ask who you are, that is not important to me,
You can do nothing and be nothing but what I will infold you.

To cotton-field drudge or cleaner of privies I lean,
On his right cheek I put the family kiss,
And in my soul I swear I never will deny him.

On women fit for conception I start bigger and nimbler babes.
(This day I am jetting the stuff of far more arrogant republics.)

To any one dying, thither I speed and twist the knob of the door.
Turn the bed-clothes toward the foot of the bed,
Let the physician and the priest go home.

I seize the descending man and raise him with resistless will,
O despairer, here is my neck,
By God, you shall not go down! hang your whole weight upon me.

I dilate you with tremendous breath, I buoy you up,
Every room of the house do I fill with an arm’d force,
Lovers of me, bafflers of graves.

Sleep—I and they keep guard all night,
Not doubt, not decease shall dare to lay finger upon you,
I have embraced you, and henceforth possess you to myself,
And when you rise in the morning you will find what I tell you is so.

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American Romanticism

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Chicago: Walt Whitman, "40," Leaves of Grass, ed. Keil, Heinrich, 1822-1894 and trans. Seaton, R. C. in Leaves of Grass (New York: George E. Wood, ""Death-bed"" edition, 1892), Original Sources, accessed September 25, 2022, http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=3X5W9RKUNFTE79U.

MLA: Whitman, Walt. "40." Leaves of Grass, edited by Keil, Heinrich, 1822-1894, and translated by Seaton, R. C., in Leaves of Grass, New York, George E. Wood, ""Death-bed"" edition, 1892, Original Sources. 25 Sep. 2022. http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=3X5W9RKUNFTE79U.

Harvard: Whitman, W, '40' in Leaves of Grass, ed. and trans. . cited in ""Death-bed"" edition, 1892, Leaves of Grass, George E. Wood, New York. Original Sources, retrieved 25 September 2022, from http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=3X5W9RKUNFTE79U.