Verse > Walt Whitman > Leaves of Grass

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

46. Roots and Leaves Themselves Alone

ROOTS and leaves themselves alone are these; 
Scents brought to men and women from the wild woods, and from the pond-side, 
Breast-sorrel and pinks of love—fingers that wind around tighter than vines, 
Gushes from the throats of birds, hid in the foliage of trees, as the sun is risen; 
Breezes of land and love—breezes set from living shores out to you on the living sea—to you, O sailors!         5
Frost-mellow’d berries, and Third-month twigs, offer’d fresh to young persons wandering out in the fields when the winter breaks up, 
Love-buds, put before you and within you, whoever you are, 
Buds to be unfolded on the old terms; 
If you bring the warmth of the sun to them, they will open, and bring form, color, perfume, to you; 
If you become the aliment and the wet, they will become flowers, fruits, tall blanches and trees.  10



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