Verse > Walt Whitman > Leaves of Grass

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

NOTES  150–159

150. All is Truth

First published in 1860.

  l. 2  After line 2, 1860 reads “We with mole’s eyes, unrisen to buoyancy and vision unfree.”

151. Voices

First published in 1860.

  l. 6  1860 reads “Now I believe that all waits,” etc.

152. As I Sat Alone by Blue Ontario’s Shores

First published in 1856, under title of “Poem of Many in One.”

  l. 1  Lines 1–8 added in “Songs Before Parting.”

  l. 5  For lines 5 and 6, “Songs Before Parting” reads

“Chant me a poem, it said, of the range of the high soul of the poets,
And chant of the welcome bards, that breathe but my native air—and invoke those bards.”

  l. 6  “Songs Before Parting.” For “sing” reads “chant.”

  l. 9  1860 adds “(many in one).” This line begins poem in 1856 ’60.

  l. 12  1856 ’60 read “A breed whose testimony is behavior.”

  l. 19  Lines 18–19 added in “Songs Before Parting.”

  l. 24  Lines 23–25 added in “Songs Before Parting.”

  l. 29  1856 ’60. After line 29 read “If one is lost you are inevitably lost.”

  l. 33  Lines 32–33 added in “Songs Before Parting.”

  l. 35  For lines 34–35, 1856 reads:

“How dare a sick man, or an obedient man write poems?
Which is the theory or book that is not diseased?”

  1860 reads

“How dare a sick man, or an obedient man write poems for These States?
Which is the theory or book that, for our purposes is not diseased?”

  l. 40  1856 ’60. For “who walks the States” read “who goes through the streets.”

  1856 ’60 add “—questioning you up there now.”

  l. 44  Lines 43–44 added in “Songs Before Parting.”

  l. 45  1856 ’60 read “Are you or would you be better than all,” etc.

  l. 46  1856 reads “If you would be better than all that has ever been before, come listen to me and I will tell you.” 1860 reads “If you would be better than all that has ever been before, come listen to me and not otherwise.”

  l. 47  “elegance, civilization” added in 1870.

  l. 51  1856 ’60 add “poems.” “Songs Before Parting” adds “chants.”

  l. 53  1856 ’60 read “Mighty bards have done,” etc.

  l. 54  1856 ’60 and “Songs Before Parting” read “One work forever remains,” etc.

  l. 55  1856 reads “stands sternly by its own.”

  l. 56  1856 ’60 add “Sees itself promulger of man and women.”

  l. 57  1856 ’60 add “or amid other politics, or amid the idea of castes, or the old religions.”

  l. 58  1856 ’60 read “from the eating and sleeping rooms of the house.”

  l. 67  1855 ’60 read “carelessly faithful,” etc.

  l. 70  1856 ’60. For “Land of lands” read “Race of Races.”

  l. 78  1856 ’60 read “Making its geography, cities, beginnings, events, glories, defections, diversities, vocal in him.”

  l. 80  After line 80, 1856 reads “The blue breadth over the sea off Massachusetts and Maine, or over the Virginia and Maryland sea, or over inland Champlain, Ontario, Erie, Huron, Michigan, Superior, or over the Texan, Mexican, Cuban, Floridian seas, or over the seas of California and Oregon, not tallying the breadth of the waters below, more than the breadth of above and below is tallied in him.”

  l. 83  1856 ’60 add “cypress, lime-tree, tulip-tree, cactus, tamarind, persimmon.”

  l. 85  1856 ’60 add “and icicles hanging from the boughs.”

  l. 87  1856 reads “Through him flights, songs, screams, answering those of the wild pigeon, high-hold, orchard-oriole, coot, surf-duck, red-shouldered hawk, fish-hawk, white-ibis, indian-hen, cat-owl, water-pheasant, quabird, pied-sheldrake, mocking-bird, buzzard, condor, night-heron, eagle.”

  l. 91  1856 ’60. For “embryo” read “the rapid.”

  l. 94  1856 ’60. For “sure” read “calm.”

  l. 101  1856 ’60 add “their deathless attachment to freedom.”

  l. 102  “The whole composite make” added in 1860.

  l. 110  1856 ’60. For lines 109–110 read “Slavery the tremulous spreading of hands to shelter it—the stern opposition to it, which ceases only when it ceases.”

  l. 122  Lines 111–122 added in “Songs Before Parting.”

  l. 123  Before line 123, 1856 ’60 read “For these and the like, their own voices! For these, space ahead!”

  l. 125  “I isolate myself for your sake” added in “Songs Before Parting.”

  l. 129  1856 ’60 read “Bravas to states whose semetic impulses send wholesome children to the next age!”

  l. 130  1856 ’60 and “Songs Before Parting” add “on flaunters and dallyers.”

  l. 131  Line 131 added in 1870.

  l. 132  Line 132 added in “Songs Before Parting.”

  l. 133  1856 ’60 read “By great bards only can series of peoples and States be fused into the compact organism of one nation.”

  l. 140  Lines 138–40 added in “Songs Before Parting.”

  l. 141  For “Of These States,” 1856 ’60 and “Songs Before Parting” read “Of mankind.”

  l. 151  “(Nature accepts him absolutely;)” added in “Songs Before Parting.”

  l. 157  After line 157, 1856 reads

“An American literat fills his own place,
He justifies science—did you think the demonstrable less divine than the mythical?
He stands by liberty according to the compact of the first day of the first year of These States,
He concentres in the real body and soul, and in the pleasure of things,
He possesses the superiority of genuineness over fiction and romance,
As he emits himself, facts are showered over with light.
The day-light is lit with more volatile light—the deep between the setting and rising sun goes deeper many fold.
Each precise object, condition, combination, process, exhibits a beauty—the multiplication table its, the old age its, the carpenter’s trade its, the grand-opera its,
The huge-hulled clean-shaped Manhattan clipper at sea, under steam or full sail, gleams with unmatched beauty,
The national circles and large harmonies of government gleam with theirs,
The commonest definite intentions and actions with theirs.”

  l. 159  For lines 158–9, 1856 ’60 read “Of the idea of perfect individuals, the idea of These States, their bards walk in advance, leaders of leaders.”

  l. 163  After line 163, 1856 reads

“Language-using controls the rest;
Wonderful is language!
Wondrous the English language, language of live men,
Language of ensemble, powerful language of resistance,
Language of a proud and melancholy stock, and of all who aspire,
Language of growth, faith, self-esteem, rudeness, justice, friendliness, prudence, decision, exactitude, courage,
Language to well-nigh express the unexpressible,
Language for the modern, language for America.”

  l. 165  Lines 164–5 added in “Songs Before Parting.”

  l. 166  Lines 166–178 added in “Songs Before Parting,” in which edition line 166 reads: “With their poems of stem defiance ever ready.”

  l. 179  Lines 179–80 added in 1860, in which edition for line 179 read

“Are You indeed for Liberty?
Are you a man who would assume a place to teach here, or be a poet here?”

  l. 181  1856 reads “Who would use language to America may well,” etc.

  l. 184  “or sing” added in 1860.

  l. 187  “Independence of The States?” ends the line in 1856, balance added in 1860.

  l. 188  After line 187, 1856 ’60 add “Do you acknowledge liberty with audible and absolute acknowledgment, and set slavery at naught for life and death?”

  l. 189  1856 ’60 read “Do you see who have left described processes and poems behind them, and assumed new ones?”

  l. 190  1856 ’60 add “excesses, crimes.”

  l. 191  1856 ’60 read “through customs, laws, popularities?”

  l. 192  “are you very strong?” etc., added in 1860.

  l. 195  1856. For “vivified” reads “possessed.”

  After line 195, 1856 reads “Have you sucked the nipples of the breasts of the mother of many children?”

  l. 202  “is the good old cause in it?” added in 1870.

  l. 206  Line 206 added in 1870.

  l. 208  1856 ’60 add “nobility, meanness.”

  l. 210  After line 210, 1856 adds “Does it respect me? America? the Soul? today?” 1860. For “America” reads “Democracy.”

  l. 225  “in the long run” added in 1860.

  l. 228  1856 ’60 read “fills the houses and streets.”

  l. 230  “I say” added in 1860.

  l. 233  1856 ’60 read “Friendship, self-esteem, justice, health,” etc.

  l. 234  Lines 234–236 added in 1860.

  l. 238  1856 ’60 read “Give to me to speak beautiful words!” etc.

  l. 245  After line 245, 1856 ’60 read “I have studied my land, its idioms and men.”

  l. 246  Line 246 added in “Songs Before Parting.”

  l. 250  Lines 247–50 added in 1870.

  l. 254  Lines 253–54 added in “Songs Before Parting,” where “you and yours” reads “that alone.”

  l. 257  “Up there” added in “Songs Before Parting.”

  l. 261  “to me now” added in 1860.

  l. 264  Line 264 added in 1860.

  l. 266  Lines 265–6 added in “Songs Before Parting.”

  l. 277  “(the same monotonous old song)” added in 1860. After line 277, 1856 ’60 read “If all had not Kernels for you and me, what were it to you and me?”

  l. 279  After line 279, 1856 ’60 read

“Its power, weapons, testimony, are you and me,
Its roughs, beards, haughtiness, ruggedness, are you and me,
Its ample geography, the Sierras, the prairies, Mississippi, Huron, Colorado, Boston, Toronto, Raleigh, Nashville, Havana, are you and me,
Its settlements, wars, the organic compact, peace, Washington, the Federal Constitution, are you and me,
Its young men’s manners, speech, dress, friendships, are you and me.”

  l. 282  After line 282, 1856 ’60 read

“Its inventions, science, schools, are you and me,
Its deserts, forests, clearings, log-houses, hunters, are you and me.”

  1856 adds “The perpetual arrivals of immigrants are you and me.”

  l. 283  Line 283 added in 1870.

  l. 288  1856 reads “Not America, nor any part of America.” 1856 ’60 add

“Not my body, not friendship, hospitality, procreation,
Not my soul; not the last explanation of prudence,
Not the similitude that interlocks me with all identities that exist, or ever have existed,
Not faith, sin, defiance, nor any disposition or duty of myself.”

  l. 297  1856 reads “abreast with America and with the earth!”

  l. 302  Line 302 added in 1860.

  l. 305  Lines 303–5 added in “Songs Before Parting.”

  l. 314  Line 314 added in 1860, which adds

“The Many In One—what is it finally except myself?
These States—what are they except myself?”

  l. 316  Lines 315–16 added in “Songs Before Parting.”

  l. 318  1856 reads

“I will learn why the earth is gross, tantalizing, wicked,
I take you to be mine, you beautiful terrible, rude forms.”

  Which ends the poem in that edition.

  1860 reads

“I have learned why the earth is gross, tantalizing, wicked—it is for my sake,
I take you to be mine, you beautiful, terrible, rude forms.”

  Which ends the poem in that edition.

  l. 319  Lines 319–32 added in “Songs Before Parting.”

  l. 333  “Songs Before Parting” reads

“But, O strong soul of Poets,
Bards for my own land, ere I go, I invoke.”

  l. 336  Lines 334–36 added in 1870.

  l. 337  “Songs Before Parting” reads “you bards.”

  l. 338  “Songs Before Parting.” For “peaceful” reads “wondrous.”

  “(for the war, the war is over!)” added in 1870.

  l. 342  “bards of the war” added in 1870.

  l. 343  Line 343 added in 1870.

153. Pioneers! O Pioneers!

First published in “Drum-Taps,” 1865.

154. Turn, O Libertad

First published in “Drum-Taps,” 1865.

  l. 1  “Drum Taps” reads “Turn, O Libertad, no more doubting.”

  l. 2  Line 2 added in 1870.

155. Adieu to a Soldier

First published in 1870.

156. As I Walk These Broad, Majestic Days

First published in 1860 in “Songs Before Parting,” under title of “As I Walk Solitary, Unattended.” See line 7.

  l. 6  Lines 1–6 added in 1870.

  l. 14  “Songs Before Parting” reads “But we too announce solid things.”

  l. 15  “Songs Before Parting.” For “I watch them” reads “they serve.”

  l. 16  Line 16 added in 1870.

157. Weave in, Weave in, My Hardy Life

First published in “Drum-Taps,” 1865.

  l. 2  Drum Taps for “yet” reads “weave.”

158. Race of Veterans

First published in “When Lilacs Last in the Door-Yard Bloom’d,” 1865–6.

  l. 1  “Race of Victors!” added in 1870.

  l. 4  “Race henceforth” added in 1870.

159. This Compost

First published in 1856 under title of “Poem of Wonder at The Resurrection of The Wheat.”

  l. 6  1856 reads “How can the ground not sicken of men?” 1860 reads “O Earth! O how can the ground of you not sicken?”

  l. 9  1856 for “within you” reads “in the earth.”

  l. 17  1856 ’60 read “Behold! This is the compost of billions of premature corpses.”

  l. 19  “of spring” added in 1870.

  l. 29  “the lilacs bloom in the door-yards” added in 1870.


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