Verse > Walt Whitman > Leaves of Grass

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

287. Shut Not Your Doors, &c.

SHUT not your doors to me, proud libraries, 
For that which was lacking on all your well-fill’d shelves, yet needed most, I bring; 
Forth from the army, the war emerging—a book I have made, 
The words of my book nothing—the drift of it everything; 
A book separate, not link’d with the rest, nor felt by the intellect,         5
But you, ye untold latencies, will thrill to every page; 
Through Space and Time fused in a chant, and the flowing, eternal Identity, 
To Nature, encompassing these, encompassing God—to the joyous, electric All, 
To the sense of Death—and accepting, exulting in Death, in its turn, the same as life, 
The entrance of Man I sing.  10



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