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

26. Once I Pass’d Through a Populous City

ONCE I pass’d through a populous city, imprinting my brain, for future use, with its shows, architecture, customs, and traditions;

Yet now, of all that city, I remember only a woman I casually met there, who detain’d me for love of me;

Day by day and night by night we were together,—All else has long been forgotten by me;

I remember, I say, only that woman who passionately clung to me;

Again we wander—we love—we separate again;

Again she holds me by the hand—I must not go!

I see her close beside me, with silent lips, sad and tremulous.