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Walt Whitman (1819–1892). Leaves of Grass. 1900.

Index of First Lines

Aarm’d year! year of the struggle!
A batter’d, wreck’d old man
Aboard, at a ship’s helm
A California song!
Adieu, O soldier!
Afoot and light-hearted, I take to the open road
After all, not to create only, or found only
After the Sea-Ship—after the whistling winds
Ages and ages, returning at intervals
A glimpse, through an interstice caught
A great year and place
Ah poverties, wincings, and sulky retreats!
A leaf for hand in hand!
A line in long array, where they wind betwixt green islands
All submit to them, where they sit
All you are doing and saying is to America dangled mirages
A march in the ranks hard-prest, and the road unknown
A mask—a perpetual natural disguiser of herself
America always!
Among the men and women, the multitude
And now, gentlemen
A newer garden of creation, no primal solitude
A noiseless, patient spider
An old man bending, I come, among new faces
An old man’s thought of School
A promise to California
Are you the new person drawn toward me?
As Adam, early in the morning
As a strong bird on pinions free
As at thy portals also death
As consequent from store of summer rains
Ashes of soldiers!
As if a phantom caress’d me
A sight in camp in the day-break grey and dim
As I lay with my head in your lap, Camerado
As I ponder’d in silence
As I sat alone, by blue Ontario’s shore
As I sit with others, at a great feast
As I walk these broad, majestic days of peace
As I watch’d the ploughman ploughing
A song of the good green grass!
As the time draws nigh, glooming, a cloud
As they draw to a close
As toilsome I wander’d Virginia’s woods
A thousand perfect men and women appear
At the last, tenderly
A woman waits for me—she contains all, nothing is lacking
Bathed in war’s perfume—delicate flag!
Beat! beat! drums!—Blow! bugles! blow!
Be composed—be at ease with me
Beginning my studies, the first step pleas’d me so much
Behavior—fresh, native, copious
Behold this swarthy face—these gray eyes
Brother of all, with generous hand
Business man, the acquirer vast, The
By broad Potomac’s shore—again, old tongue!
By the bivouac’s fitful flame
By the City Dead-House, by the gate
Chanting the square deific, out of the One advancing
City of orgies, walks and joys!
City of ships!
Come closer to me
Come, I will make the continent indissoluble
Come, my tan-faced children
Come, said the Muse
Come up from the fields, father
Courage yet! my brother or my sister!
Darest thou now, O Soul
Delicate cluster! flag of teeming life!
Despairing cries float ceaselessly toward me, day and night
Did you ask dulcet rhymes from me?
Earth! my likeness!
Earth, round, rolling, compact—suns, moons, animals
Elemental drifts!
Facing west, from California’s shores
Far hence, amid an isle of wondrous beauty
Fast-anchor’d, eternal, O love! O woman I love!
First, O songs, for a prelude
Flood-tide below me! I watch you face to face
For him I sing
Forms, qualities, lives, humanity, language, thoughts
From all the rest I single out you, having a message for you
From far Dakota’s cañons
From my last years, last thoughts I here bequeath
From Paumanock starting, I fly like a bird
From pent-up, aching rivers
Full of life, now, compact, visible
Give me the splendid silent sun
Give me your hand, old Revolutionary
Gliding o’er all, through all
Great are the myths—I too delight in them
Hark! some wild trumpeter—some strange musician
Hast never come to thee an hour
He is wisest who has the most caution
Here the frailest leaves of me, and yet my strongest-lasting
Here, take this gift!
Hold it up sternly! See this it sends back!
Hours continuing long, sore and heavy-hearted
How solemn, as one by one
How they are provided for upon the earth
Hush’d be the camps to-day
I am he that aches with amorous love
I celebrate myself
I dream’d in a dream, I saw a city
I hear America singing, the varied carols I hear
I heard that you ask’d for something to prove this puzzle
I heard you, solemn-sweet pipes of the organ
I hear it was charged against me
I met a Seer
In a little house keep I pictures suspended
In a faraway northern county, in the placid, pastoral region
In cabin’d ships, at sea
Indications, and tally of time, The
I need no assurances—I am a man who is preoccupied
In former songs Pride have I sung
In midnight sleep, of many a face of anguish
In paths untrodden
In the new garden, in all the parts
I saw in Louisiana a live-oak growing
I saw old General at bay
I say whatever tastes sweet to the most perfect person
I see before me now, a traveling army halting
I see in you the estuary that enlarges and spreads itself
I see the sleeping babe, nestling the breast of its mother
I sing the Body electric
I sit and look out upon all the sorrows of the world
Is reform needed? Is it through you?
I thought I was not alone, walking here by the shore
I wander all night in my vision
I was asking for something specific and perfect for my city
I was looking a long while for a clue to the history
I will take an egg out of the robin’s nest in the orchard
Joy! shipmate—joy!
Last sunbeam, The
Laws for Creations
Let us twain walk aside from the rest
Locations and times—what is it in me that meets them all
Long I thought that knowledge alone would suffice me
Long, too long, O land
Look down, fair moon, and bathe this scene
Lo! the unbounded sea!
Lo! Victress on the peaks!
Manhattan’s streets I saunter’d, pondering
Me imperturbe, standing at ease in Nature
Myself and mine gymnastic ever
My spirit to yours, dear brother
Nations ten thousand years before These States
Native moments! when you come upon me—Ah you are here now!
Night on the prairies
Noble Sire, fallen on evil days, The
No labor-saving machine
Not alone those camps of white, O soldiers
Not heat flames up and consumes
Not heaving from my ribb’d breast only
Not my enemies ever invade me
Not the pilot has charged himself to bring his ship into port
Not youth pertains to me
Now, dearest comrade, lift me to your face
Now finale to the shore!
Now I make a leaf of Voices
Now list to my morning’s romanza
O a new song, a free song
O bitter sprig! Confession sprig!
O boy of the West!
O Captain! my Captain! our fearful trip is done
Of Equality—As if it harm’d me
Of him I love day and night, I dream’d I heard he was dead
Of Justice—As if Justice
Of obedience, faith, adhesiveness
Of ownership—As if one fit to own things
Of persons arrived at high positions
Of Public Opinion
Of these years I sing
Of the terrible doubt of appearances
Of the visages of things
Of what I write from myself
O hymen! O hymenee!
O living always—always dying!
O magnet-south! O glistening, perfumed South! My South!
O mater! O fils!
O me, man of slack faith so long!
O me! O life!… of the questions of these recurring
On a flat road runs the well-train’d runner
Once I pass’d through a populous city, imprinting my brain
One hour to madness and joy!
One song, America, before I go
One’s-self I sing—a simple, separate Person
One sweeps by, attended by an immense train
On journeys through the States we start
Only themselves understand themselves
On my northwest coast in the midst of the night
On the beach, at night
On the beach at night alone
Or, from that Sea of Time
O sight of shame, and pain, and dole!
O star of France!
O sun of real peace! O hastening light!
O take my hand, Walt Whitman!
O tan-faced prairie-boy!
Others may praise what they like
O to make the most jubilant poem!
Out from behind this bending, rough-cut Mask
Out of the cradle endlessly rocking
Out of the murk of heaviest clouds
Out of the rolling ocean, the crowd, came a drop gently to me
Over the carnage rose prophetic a voice
Over the western sea, hither from Niphon come
O you whom I often and silently come where you are
Passing stranger! you do not know how longingly I look upon you
Pensive and faltering
Pensive, on her dead gazing, I heard the Mother of All
Poets to come! orators, singers, musicians to come!
Prairie-grass dividing—its special odor breathing, The
Primeval my love for the woman I love
Proud music of the storm!
Quicksand years that whirl me I know not whither
Race of veterans! Race of victors!
Recorders ages hence!
Respondez! Respondez!
Rise, O days, from your fathomless deeps
Roaming in thought over the Universe
Roots and leaves themselves alone are these
Sauntering the pavement, or riding the country by-road
Scented herbage of my breast
Shut not your doors to me, proud libraries
Silent and amazed, even when a little boy
Singing my days
Skirting the river road, my forenoon walk, my rest
Small is the theme of the following Chant
Sobbing of the bells, the sudden death-news everywhere, The
So far, and so far, and on toward the end
Solid, ironical, rolling orb!
Something startles me where I thought I was safest
Sometimes with one I love, I fill myself with rage
Spirit that form’d this scene
Spirit whose work is done! spirit of dreadful hours!
Splendor of ended day, floating and filling me!
Spontaneous me, Nature
Starting from fish-shape Paumanok, where I was born
Still, though the one I sing
Stranger! if you, passing, meet me, and desire to speak to me
Suddenly, out of its stale and drowsy lair, the lair of slaves
Tears! tears! tears!
That music always round me, unceasing, unbeginning
That shadow, my likeness, that goes to and fro
That which eludes this verse and any verse
Thee for my recitative!
There are who teach only the sweet lessons of peace and safety
There was a child went forth every day
These Carols, sung to cheer my passage through the world I see
These, I, singing in spring, collect for lovers
They shall arise in the States
Thick-sprinkled bunting! Flag of stars!
Think of the Soul
This day, O Soul, I give you a wondrous mirror
This dust was once the Man
This is thy hour O Soul, thy free flight into the wordless
This moment yearning and thoughtful, sitting alone
Thither, as I look, I see each result and glory
Thought of the Infinite—the All!
Through the ample open door of the peaceful country barn
Through the soft evening air enwrinding all
Thou reader throbbest life and pride and love the same as I
Thou orb aloft full-dazzling! thou hot October noon!
Thou who hast slept all night upon the storm
To conclude—I announce what comes after me
To-day a rude brief recitative
To get betimes in Boston town, I rose this morning early
To oratists—to male or female
To the East and to the West
To thee, old Cause!
To the garden, the world, anew ascending
To the leaven’d soil they trod
To The States, or any one of them, or any city of The States
To think of time—of all that retrospection!
Trickle, drops! my blue veins leaving!
Turn, O Libertad, for the war is over
Two boats with nets lying off the sea-beach, quite still
Two Rivulets side by side
Unfolded out of the folds of the woman, man comes unfolded
Untold want, by life and land ne’er granted, The
Vigil strange I kept on the field one night
Wandering at morn
Warble me now, for joy of Lilac-time
Weapon, shapely, naked, wan!
Weave in! weave in, my hardy life!
We two boys together clinging
We two—how long we were fool’d!
What am I, after all, but a child, pleas’d with the sound
What are those of the known, but to ascend and enter the Unknown?
What best I see in thee
What General has a good army in himself, has a good army
What place is besieged, and vainly tries to raise the siege?
What ship, puzzled at sea, cons for the true reckoning?
What think you I take my pen in hand to record?
What weeping face is that looking from the window?
What you give me, I cheerfully accept
When I heard at the close of the day how my name
When I heard the learn’d astronomer
When I peruse the conquer’d fame of heroes
When I read the book, the biography famous
When lilacs last in the door-yard bloom’d
Where the city’s ceaseless crowd moves on
While my wife at my side lies slumbering
Whispers of heavenly death, murmur’d I hear
Who are you, dusky woman, so ancient, hardly human
Whoever you are, holding me now in hand
Whoever you are, I fear you are walking the walks of dreams
Who has gone farthest? For lo! have not I gone farther?
Who includes diversity, and is Nature
Who is now reading this?
Who learns my lesson complete?
Why reclining, interrogating? Why myself and all drowsing?
Why! who makes much of a miracle?
Wild, wild the storm, and the sea high running
With all thy gifts, America
With antecedents
With its cloud of skirmishers in advance
Women sit, or move to and fro—some old, some young
Word over all, beautiful as the sky!
World below the brine, The
World, take good notice, silver stars fading
Year of meteors! brooding year!
Years of the modern! years of the unperform’d!
Year that trembled and reel’d beneath me!
Yet, yet, ye downcast hours, I know ye also
You felons on trial in courts
You just maturing youth! You male or female!
You who celebrate bygones!