Verse > Walt Whitman > Leaves of Grass

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

35. In Paths Untrodden

IN paths untrodden, 
In the growth by margins of pond-waters, 
Escaped from the life that exhibits itself, 
From all the standards hitherto publish’d—from the pleasures, profits, eruditions, conformities, 
Which too long I was offering to feed my soul;         5
Clear to me, now, standards not yet publish’d—clear to me that my Soul, 
That the Soul of the man I speak for, feeds, rejoices most in comrades; 
Here, by myself, away from the clank of the world, 
Tallying and talk’d to here by tongues aromatic, 
No longer abash’d—for in this secluded spot I can respond as I would not dare elsewhere,  10
Strong upon me the life that does not exhibit itself, yet contains all the rest, 
Resolv’d to sing no songs to-day but those of manly attachment, 
Projecting them along that substantial life, 
Bequeathing, hence, types of athletic love, 
Afternoon, this delicious Ninth-month, in my forty-first year,  15
I proceed, for all who are, or have been, young men, 
To tell the secret of my nights and days, 
To celebrate the need of comrades. 



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