|Stedman and Hutchinson, comps. A Library of American Literature:|
An Anthology in Eleven Volumes. 1891.
Vols. VIVIII: Literature of the Republic, Part III., 18351860
|Behold a Woman!|
|By Walt Whitman (18191892)|
[Leaves of Grass.
1855.Leaves of Grass, and Two Rivulets: Centennial Edition.
1876.Leaves of Grass: with additions.
1888. See full text
THE OLD face of the mother of many children,
|Whist! I am fully content.|
|Lulld and late is the smoke of the First-day morning,|
|It hangs low over the rows of trees by the fences,|
|It hangs thin by the sassafras and wild cherry and cat-brier under them.|| 5|
|I saw the rich ladies in full dress at the soiree,|
|I heard what the singers were singing so long,|
|Heard who sprang in crimson youth from the white froth and the water-blue.|
|Behold a woman!|
|She looks out from her Quaker cap, her face is clearer and more beautiful than the sky.|| 10|
|She sits in an arm-chair under the shaded porch of the farmhouse,|
|The sun just shines on her old white head.|
|Her ample gown is of creamed-hued linen,|
|Her grandsons raised the flax, and her grand-daughters spun it with the distaff and the wheel.|
|The melodious character of the earth,|| 15|
|The finish beyond which philosophy cannot go and does not wish to go,|
|The justified mother of men.|