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

23. We Two—How Long We were Fool’d


WE two—how long we were fool’d! 
Now transmuted, we swiftly escape, as Nature escapes; 
We are Nature—long have we been absent, but now we return; 
We become plants, leaves, foliage, roots, bark; 
We are bedded in the ground—we are rocks;         5
We are oaks—we grow in the openings side by side; 
We browse—we are two among the wild herds, spontaneous as any; 
We are two fishes swimming in the sea together; 
We are what the locust blossoms are—we drop scent around the lanes, mornings and evenings; 
We are also the coarse smut of beasts, vegetables, minerals;  10
We are two predatory hawks—we soar above, and look down; 
We are two resplendent suns—we it is who balance ourselves, orbic and stellar—we are as two comets; 
We prowl fang’d and four-footed in the woods—we spring on prey; 
We are two clouds, forenoons and afternoons, driving overhead; 
We are seas mingling—we are two of those cheerful waves, rolling over each other, and interwetting each other;  15
We are what the atmosphere is, transparent, receptive, pervious, impervious: 
We are snow, rain, cold, darkness—we are each product and influence of the globe; 
We have circled and circled till we have arrived home again—we two have; 
We have voided all but freedom, and all but our own joy. 


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