Song of Myself, 40
Flaunt of the sunshine I need not your bask—lie over! You light surfaces only, I force surfaces and depths also. Earth! you seem to look for something at my hands, Say, old top-knot, what do you want? Man or woman, I might tell how I like you, but cannot, And might tell what it is in me and what it is in you, but cannot, And might tell that pining I have, that pulse of my nights and days. Behold, I do not give lectures or a little charity, When I give I give myself. You there, impotent, loose in the knees, Open your scarf'd chops till I blow grit within you, Spread your palms and lift the flaps of your pockets, I am not to be denied, I compel, I have stores plenty and to spare, And any thing I have I bestow. I do not ask who you are, that is not important to me, You can do nothing and be nothing but what I will infold you. To cotton-field drudge or cleaner of privies I lean, On his right cheek I put the family kiss, And in my soul I swear I never will deny him. On women fit for conception I start bigger and nimbler babes, (This day I am jetting the stuff of far more arrogant republics.) To any one dying, thither I speed and twist the knob of the door, Turn the bed-clothes toward the foot of the bed, Let the physician and the priest go home. I seize the descending man and raise him with resistless will, O despairer, here is my neck, By God, you shall not go down! hang your whole weight upon me. I dilate you with tremendous breath, I buoy you up, Every room of the house do I fill with an arm'd force, Lovers of me, bafflers of graves. Sleep—I and they keep guard all night, Not doubt, not decease shall dare to lay finger upon you, I have embraced you, and henceforth possess you to myself, And when you rise in the morning you will find what I tell you is so.
This poem is in the public domain.