Verse > Walt Whitman > Leaves of Grass

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

85. As I lay with Head in your Lap, Camerado

AS I lay with my head in your lap, Camerado, 
The confession I made I resume—what I said to you in the open air I resume: 
I know I am restless, and make others so; 
I know my words are weapons, full of danger, full of death; 
(Indeed I am myself the real soldier;         5
It is not he, there, with his bayonet, and not the red-striped artilleryman;) 
For I confront peace, security, and all the settled laws, to unsettle them; 
I am more resolute because all have denied me, than I could ever have been had all accepted me; 
I heed not, and have never heeded, either experience, cautions, majorities, nor ridicule; 
And the threat of what is call’d hell is little or nothing to me;  10
And the lure of what is call’d heaven is little or nothing to me; 
...Dear camerado! I confess I have urged you onward with me, and still urge you, without the least idea what is our destination, 
Or whether we shall be victorious, or utterly quell’d and defeated. 



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