Home  »  Leaves of Grass  »  46. Roots and Leaves Themselves Alone

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

46. Roots and Leaves Themselves Alone

ROOTS and leaves themselves alone are these;

Scents brought to men and women from the wild woods, and from the pond-side,

Breast-sorrel and pinks of love—fingers that wind around tighter than vines,

Gushes from the throats of birds, hid in the foliage of trees, as the sun is risen;

Breezes of land and love—breezes set from living shores out to you on the living sea—to you, O sailors!

Frost-mellow’d berries, and Third-month twigs, offer’d fresh to young persons wandering out in the fields when the winter breaks up,

Love-buds, put before you and within you, whoever you are,

Buds to be unfolded on the old terms;

If you bring the warmth of the sun to them, they will open, and bring form, color, perfume, to you;

If you become the aliment and the wet, they will become flowers, fruits, tall blanches and trees.