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In Paths Untrodden, from “Calamus”

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, 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 rejoices 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,)

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.

-Walt Whitman

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