Walt Whitman

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

We Two-How Long We Were Fool'd



WE two--how long we were fool'd!
Now transmuted, we swiftly escape, as Nature escapes;
We are Nature--long have we been absent, but now we return;
We become plants, leaves, foliage, roots, bark;
We are bedded in the ground--we are rocks;
We are oaks--we grow in the openings side by side;
We browse--we are two among the wild herds, spontaneous as any;
We are two fishes swimming in the sea together;
We are what the locust blossoms are--we drop scent around the lanes,
mornings and evenings;
We are also the coarse smut of beasts, vegetables, minerals; 10
We are two predatory hawks--we soar above, and look down;
We are two resplendent suns--we it is who balance ourselves, orbic
and stellar--we are as two comets;
We prowl fang'd and four-footed in the woods--we spring on prey;
We are two clouds, forenoons and afternoons, driving overhead;
We are seas mingling--we are two of those cheerful waves, rolling
over each other, and interwetting each other;
We are what the atmosphere is, transparent, receptive, pervious,
impervious:
We are snow, rain, cold, darkness--we are each product and influence
of the globe;
We have circled and circled till we have arrived home again--we two
have;
We have voided all but freedom, and all but our own joy.

Submitted: Tuesday, December 31, 2002

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