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What Think You I Take My Pen in Hand?
by Walt Whitman
from “Calamus” in Leaves of Grass, 1867

What think you I take my pen in hand to record?
The battle-ship, perfect-model’d, majestic, that I saw pass the offing to-day 
     under full sail?
The splendors of the past day? or the splendor of the night that envelops me?
Or the vaunted glory and growth of the great city spread around me?–no;
But merely of two simple men I saw to-day on the pier in the midst of the crowd,
     parting the parting of dear friends,
The one to remain hung on the other’s neck and passionately kiss’d him,
While the one to depart tightly prest the one to remain in his arms.



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