Backward I see in my own days where I sweated through fog with linguists and contenders, I have no mockings or arguments, I witness and wait.5 I believe in you my soul, the other I am must not abase itself to you, And you must not be abased to the other.And what do you think has become of the women and children?They are alive and well somewhere, The smallest sprout shows there is really no death, And if ever there was it led forward life, and does not wait at the end to arrest it, And ceas'd the moment life appear'd.Loafe with me on the grass, loose the stop from your throat, Not words, not music or rhyme I want, not custom or lecture, not even the best, Only the lull I like, the hum of your valved voice.I mind how once we lay such a transparent summer morning, How you settled your head athwart my hips and gently turn'd over upon me, And parted the shirt from my bosom-bone, and plunged your tongue to my bare-stript heart, And reach'd till you felt my beard, and reach'd till you held my feet.
I pass death with the dying and birth with the new-wash'd babe, and am not contain'd between my hat and boots, And peruse manifold objects, no two alike and every one good, The earth good and the stars good, and their adjuncts all good.
I wish I could translate the hints about the dead young men and women, And the hints about old men and mothers, and the offspring taken soon out of their laps.
What do you think has become of the young and old men?
Welcome is every organ and attribute of me, and of any man hearty and clean, Not an inch nor a particle of an inch is vile, and none shall be less familiar than the rest.
I am satisfied--I see, dance, laugh, sing; As the hugging and loving bed-fellow sleeps at my side through the night, and withdraws at the peep of the day with stealthy tread, Leaving me baskets cover'd with white towels swelling the house with their plenty, Shall I postpone my acceptation and realization and scream at my eyes, That they turn from gazing after and down the road, And forthwith cipher and show me to a cent, Exactly the value of one and exactly the value of two, and which is ahead?