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

319. Think of the Soul

THINK of the Soul;

I swear to you that body of yours gives proportions to your Soul somehow to live in other spheres;

I do not know how, but I know it is so.

Think of loving and being loved;

I swear to you, whoever you are, you can interfuse yourself with such things that everybody that sees you shall look longingly upon you.

Think of the past;

I warn you that in a little while others will find their past in you and your times.

The race is never separated—nor man nor woman escapes;

All is inextricable—things, spirits, Nature, nations, you too—from precedents you come.

Recall the ever-welcome defiers, (The mothers precede them;)

Recall the sages, poets, saviors, inventors, lawgivers, of the earth;

Recall Christ, brother of rejected persons—brother of slaves, felons, idiots, and of insane and diseas’d persons.

Think of the time when you were not yet born;

Think of times you stood at the side of the dying;

Think of the time when your own body will be dying.

Think of spiritual results,

Sure as the earth swims through the heavens, does every one of its objects pass into spiritual results.

Think of manhood, and you to be a man;

Do you count manhood, and the sweet of manhood, nothing?

Think of womanhood, and you to be a woman;

The creation is womanhood;

Have I not said that womanhood involves all?

Have I not told how the universe has nothing better than the best womanhood?