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

24. Out of the Rolling Ocean, the Crowd


OUT of the rolling ocean, the crowd, came a drop gently to me,

Whispering, I love you, before long I die,

I have travel’d a long way, merely to look on you, to touch you,

For I could not die till I once look’d on you,

For I fear’d I might afterward lose you.


(Now we have met, we have look’d, we are safe;

Return in peace to the ocean, my love;

I too am part of that ocean, my love—we are not so much separated;

Behold the great rondure—the cohesion of all, how perfect!

But as for me, for you, the irresistible sea is to separate us,

As for an hour, carrying us diverse—yet cannot carry us diverse for ever;

Be not impatient—a little space—Know you, I salute the air, the ocean and the land,

Every day, at sundown, for your dear sake, my love.)