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

218. On the Beach at Night, Alone


ON the beach at night alone, 
As the old mother sways her to and fro, singing her husky song, 
As I watch the bright stars shining—I think a thought of the clef of the universes, and of the future. 
  
A VAST SIMILITUDE interlocks all, 
All spheres, grown, ungrown, small, large, suns, moons, planets, comets, asteroids,         5
All the substances of the same, and all that is spiritual upon the same, 
All distances of place, however wide, 
All distances of time—all inanimate forms, 
All Souls—all living bodies, though they be ever so different, or in different worlds, 
All gaseous, watery, vegetable, mineral processes—the fishes, the brutes,  10
All men and women—me also; 
All nations, colors, barbarisms, civilizations, languages; 
All identities that have existed, or may exist, on this globe, or any globe; 
All lives and deaths—all of the past, present, future; 
This vast similitude spans them, and always has spann’d, and shall forever span them, and compactly hold them, and enclose them.  15


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