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

252. By Broad Potomac’s Shore


BY broad Potomac’s shore—again, old tongue!

(Still uttering—still ejaculating—canst never cease this babble?)

Again, old heart so gay—again to you, your sense, the full flush spring returning;

Again the freshness and the odors—again Virginia’s summer sky, pellucid blue and silver,

Again the forenoon purple of the hills,

Again the deathless grass, so noiseless, soft and green,

Again the blood-red roses blooming.


Perfume this book of mine, O blood-red roses!

Lave subtly with your waters every line, Potomac!

Give me of you, O spring, before I close, to put between its pages!

O forenoon purple of the hills, before I close, of you!

O smiling earth—O summer sun, give me of you!

O deathless grass, of you!