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Walt Whitman

(31 May 1819 - 26 March 1892 / New York / United States)

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;
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,
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.

Submitted: Tuesday, December 31, 2002

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