Verse > Walt Whitman > Leaves of Grass
  PREVIOUS NEXT  
CONTENTS      BIBLIOGRAPHIC RECORD

Walt Whitman (1819–1892).  Leaves of Grass.  1900.

198. Chanting the Square Deific


1

CHANTING the square deific, out of the One advancing, out of the sides;
 
Out of the old and new—out of the square entirely divine, 
Solid, four-sided, (all the sides needed)... from this side JEHOVAH am I, 
Old Brahm I, and I Saturnius am; 
Not Time affects me—I am Time, old, modern as any;         5
Unpersuadable, relentless, executing righteous judgments; 
As the Earth, the Father, the brown old Kronos, with laws, 
Aged beyond computation—yet ever new—ever with those mighty laws rolling, 
Relentless, I forgive no man—whoever sins, dies—I will have that man’s life; 
Therefore let none expect mercy—Have the seasons, gravitation, the appointed days, mercy?—No more have I;  10
But as the seasons, and gravitation—and as all the appointed days, that forgive not, 
I dispense from this side judgments inexorable, without the least remorse. 
  
2

Consolator most mild, the promis’d one advancing,
 
With gentle hand extended—the mightier God am I, 
Foretold by prophets and poets, in their most rapt prophecies and poems;  15
From this side, lo! the Lord CHRIST gazes—lo! Hermes I—lo! mine is Hercules’ face; 
All sorrow, labor, suffering, I, tallying it, absorb in myself; 
Many times have I been rejected, taunted, put in prison, and crucified—and many times shall be again; 
All the world have I given up for my dear brothers’ and sisters’ sake—for the soul’s sake; 
Wending my way through the homes of men, rich or poor, with the kiss of affection;  20
For I am affection—I am the cheer-bringing God, with hope, and all-enclosing Charity; 
(Conqueror yet—for before me all the armies and soldiers of the earth shall yet bow—and all the weapons of war become impotent:) 
With indulgent words, as to children—with fresh and sane words, mine only; 
Young and strong I pass, knowing well I am destin’d myself to an early death: 
But my Charity has no death—my Wisdom dies not, neither early nor late,  25
And my sweet Love, bequeath’d here and elsewhere, never dies. 
  
3

Aloof, dissatisfied, plotting revolt,
 
Comrade of criminals, brother of slaves, 
Crafty, despised, a drudge, ignorant, 
With sudra face and worn brow, black, but in the depths of my heart, proud as any;  30
Lifted, now and always, against whoever, scorning, assumes to rule me; 
Morose, full of guile, full of reminiscences, brooding, with many wiles, 
(Though it was thought I was baffled and dispell’d, and my wiles done—but that will never be;) 
Defiant, I, SATAN, still live—still utter words—in new lands duly appearing, (and old ones also;) 
Permanent here, from my side, warlike, equal with any, real as any,  35
Nor time, nor change, shall ever change me or my words. 
  
4

Santa SPIRITA, breather, life,
 
Beyond the light, lighter than light, 
Beyond the flames of hell—joyous, leaping easily above hell; 
Beyond Paradise—perfumed solely with mine own perfume;  40
Including all life on earth—touching, including God—including Saviour and Satan; 
Ethereal, pervading all, (for without me, what were all? what were God?) 
Essence of forms—life of the real identities, permanent, positive, (namely the unseen,) 
Life of the great round world, the sun and stars, and of man—I, the general Soul, 
Here the square finishing, the solid, I the most solid,  45
Breathe my breath also through these songs. 


CONTENTS      BIBLIOGRAPHIC RECORD


  PREVIOUS NEXT  
 
Loading
Click here to shop the Bartleby Bookstore.

Shakespeare · Bible · Strunk · Anatomy · Nonfiction · Quotations · Reference · Fiction · Poetry
© 1993–2014 Bartleby.com · [Top 150] · Subjects · Titles · Authors