Crossing Brooklyn Ferry (fragment)

Poetry before bed.

Now I am curious what sight can ever be more stately and admirable to me than my mast-hemm’d Manhattan,  My river and sun-set, and my scallop-edg’d waves of flood-tide

Ah, what can ever be more stately and admirable to me than mast-hemm’d Manhattan? River and sunset and scallop-edg’d waves of flood-tide?

from “Crossing Brooklyn Ferry”
by Walt Whitman

Ah, what can ever be more stately and admirable to me than mast-hemm’d Manhattan?
River and sunset and scallop-edg’d waves of flood-tide?
The sea-gulls oscillating their bodies, the hay-boat in the twilight, and the belated lighter?

What gods can exceed these that clasp me by the hand, and with voices I love call me promptly and loudly by my nighest name as I approach?

What is more subtle than this which ties me to the woman or man that looks in my face?
Which fuses me into you now, and pours my meaning into you?

We understand then do we not?
What I promis’d without mentioning it, have you not accepted?
What the study could not teach—what the preaching could not accomplish is accomplish’d, is it not?

 


					
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