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Behold This Swarthy Face
by Walt Whitman
from “Calamus” in Leaves of Grass, 1867

Behold this swarthy face, these gray eyes,
This beard, the white wool unclipt upon my neck,
My brown hands and the silent manner of me without charm;
Yet comes one a Manhattanese and ever at parting kisses me lightly on the lips with robust love,
And I on the crossing of the street or on the ship’s deck give a kiss in return,
We observe that salute of American comrades land and sea,
We are those two natural and nonchalant persons.


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