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Leaves of Grass

13. Song of the Broad-Axe
1
Weapon shapely, naked, wan,
Head from the mother's bowels drawn,
Wooded flesh and metal bone, limb only one and lip only one,
Gray-blue leaf by red-heat grown, helve produced from a little seed sown,
Resting the grass amid and upon,
To be lean'd and to lean on.
Strong shapes and attributes of strong shapes, masculine trades,
sights and sounds.
Long varied train of an emblem, dabs of music,
Fingers of the organist skipping staccato over the keys of the great organ.
2
Welcome are all earth's lands, each for its kind,
Welcome are lands of pine and oak,
Welcome are lands of the lemon and fig,
Welcome are lands of gold,
Welcome are lands of wheat and maize, welcome those of the grape,
Welcome are lands of sugar and rice,
Welcome the cotton-lands, welcome those of the white potato and
sweet potato,
Welcome are mountains, flats, sands, forests, prairies,
Welcome the rich borders of rivers, table-lands, openings,
Welcome the measureless grazing-lands, welcome the teeming soil of
orchards, flax, honey, hemp;
Welcome just as much the other more hard-faced lands,
Lands rich as lands of gold or wheat and fruit lands,
Lands of mines, lands of the manly and rugged ores,
Lands of coal, copper, lead, tin, zinc,
Lands of iron--lands of the make of the axe.
3
The log at the wood-pile, the axe supported by it,
The sylvan hut, the vine over the doorway, the space clear'd for garden,
The irregular tapping of rain down on the leaves after the storm is lull'd,
The walling and moaning at intervals, the thought of the sea,
The thought of ships struck in the storm and put on their beam ends,
and the cutting away of masts,
The sentiment of the huge timbers of old-fashion'd houses and barns,
The remember'd print or narrative, the voyage at a venture of men,
families, goods,
The disembarkation, the founding of a new city,
The voyage of those who sought a New England and found it, the outset
anywhere,
The settlements of the Arkansas, Colorado, Ottawa, Willamette,
 
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