le carre d'herbe

From Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman:


Collecting I traverse the garden the world, but soon I
pass the gates,
Now along the pond-side, now wading in a little, fearing
not the wet,
Now by the post-and-rail fences where the old stones
thrown there, pick'd from the fields, have accumu-
(Wild flowers and vines and weeds come up through the
stones and partly cover them, beyond these I pass,)
Far, far in the forest, or sauntering later in summer,
before I think where I go,
Solitary, smelling the earthy smell, stopping now and
then in the silence,
Alone I had thought, yet soon a troop gathers around me,
Some walk by my side and some behind, and some
embrace my arms or neck,
They the spirits of dear friends dead or alive, thicker
they come, a great crowd, and I in the middle,
Collecting, dispensing, singing, there I wander with
them,                                                    [is near me,
Plucking something for tokens, tossing toward whoever
Here, lilac, with a branch of pine,
Here, out of my pocket, some moss which I pull'd off a
live-oak in Florida as it hung trailing down,
Here, some pinks and laurel leaves, and a handful of
And here what I now draw from the water, wading in
the pond-side,
(O here I last saw him that tenderly loves me, and
returns again never to separate from me,
And this, O this shall henceforth be the token of com-
rades, this calamus-root shall,
Interchange it youths with each other! let none render
it back!)

And twigs of maple and a bunch of wild orange and
And stems of currants and plum-blows, and the aromatic
These I compass'd around by a thick cloud of spirits,
Wandering, point to or touch as I pass, or throw them
loosely from me,
Indicating to each one what he shall have, giving some-
thing to each;
But what I drew from the water by the pond-side, that
I reserve,
I will give of it, but only to them that love as I myself
am capable of loving.