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Walt Whitman (1819–1892). Prose Works. 1892.

I. Specimen Days

131. Mulleins and Mulleins

LARGE, placid mulleins, as summer advances, velvety in texture, of a light greenish-drab color, growing everywhere in the fields—at first earth’s big rosettes in their broad-leav’d low clusterplants, eight, ten, twenty leaves to a plant—plentiful on the fallow twenty-acre lot, at the end of the lane, and especially by the ridge-sides of the fences—then close to the ground, but soon springing up—leaves as broad as my hand, and the lower ones twice as long—so fresh and dewy in the morning—stalks now four or five, even seven or eight feet high. The farmers, I find, think the mullein a mean unworthy weed, but I have grown to a fondness for it. Every object has its lesson, enclosing the suggestion of everything else—and lately I sometimes think all is concentrated for me in these hardy, yellow-flower’d weeds. As I come down the lane early in the morning, I pause before their soft wool-like fleece and stem and broad leaves. glittering with countless diamonds. Annually for three summers now, they and I have silently return’d together; at such long intervals I stand or sit among them, musing—and woven with the rest, of so many hours and moods of partial rehabilitation—of my sane or sick spirit, here as near at peace as it can be.