Treasure Island

Walt Whitman

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

Thou Orb Aloft Full-Dazzling


THOU orb aloft full-dazzling! thou hot October noon!
Flooding with sheeny light the gray beach sand,
The sibilant near sea with vistas far and foam,
And tawny streaks and shades and spreading blue;
O sun of noon rufulgent! my special word to thee.

Hear me illustrious!
Thy lover me, for always I have loved thee,
Even as basking babe, then happy boy alone by some wood edge, thy
touching-distant beams enough,
Or man matured, or young or old, as now to thee I launch my
invocation.

(Thou canst not with thy dumbness me deceive, 10
I know before the fitting man all Nature yields,
Though answering not in words, the skies, trees, hear his voice--and
thou O sun,
As for thy throes, thy perturbations, sudden breaks and shafts of
flame gigantic,
I understand them, I know those flames, those perturbations well.)

Thou that with fructifying heat and light,
O'er myriad farms, o'er lands and waters North and South,
O'er Mississippi's endless course, o'er Texas' grassy plains,
Kanada's woods,
O'er all the globe that turns its face to thee shining in space,
Thou that impartially infoldest all, not only continents, seas,
Thou that to grapes and weeds and little wild flowers givest so
liberally, 20
Shed, shed thyself on mine and me, with but a fleeting ray out of thy
million millions,
Strike through these chants.

Nor only launch thy subtle dazzle and thy strength for these,
Prepare the later afternoon of me myself--prepare my lengthening
shadows,
Prepare my starry nights.

Submitted: Tuesday, December 31, 2002

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