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Not Heat Flames Up and Consumes
by Walt Whitman
from “Calamus” in Leaves of Grass, 1867


Not heat flames up and consumes,
Not sea-waves hurry in and out,
Not the air delicious and dry, the air of ripe summer, bears lightly along white
     down-balls of myriads of seeds,
Waited, sailing gracefully, to drop where they may;
Not these, O none of these more than the flames of me, consuming, burning for
     his love whom I love,
O none more than I hurrying in and out;
Does the tide hurry, seeking something, and never give up? O I the same,
O nor down-balls nor perfumes, nor the high rain-emitting clouds, are borne
     through the open air,
Any more than my soul is borne through the open air,
Wafted in all directions O love, for friendship, for you.




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