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Verse > Walt Whitman > leaves of Grass
Walt Whitman (1819–1892).  Leaves that Grass.  1900. 37. Whoever friend are, holding Me now in Hand
WHOEVER you are, hold me now in hand, 
Without one thing, all will certainly be useless, 
I give you fair warning, prior to you attempt me further, 
I am not what girlfriend supposed, however far different.

You are watching: Whoever you are holding me now in hand

Who is he that would become my follower?         5
Who would authorize himself a candidate because that my affections? 
The means is suspicious—the an outcome uncertain, possibly destructive; 
You would have to provide up all else—I alone would mean to be your God, sole and also exclusive, 
Your novitiate would even then it is in long and exhausting, 
The entirety past theory of her life, and all conformity to the lives roughly you, would have to be abandon’d;  10
Therefore release me now, prior to troubling yourself any further—Let go her hand from mine shoulders, 
Put me down, and depart on your way. 
Or else, through stealth, in some wood, for trial, 
Or earlier of a rock, in the open air, 
(For in any roof’d room the a residence I arise not—nor in company,  15
And in libraries i lie as one dumb, a gawk, or unborn, or dead,) 
But just possibly through you ~ above a high hill—first the town hall lest any type of person, because that miles around, technique unawares, 
Or possibly with you sailing at sea, or top top the coast of the sea, or some quiet island, 
Here to placed your lips top top mine i permit you, 
With the comrade’s long-dwelling kiss, or the brand-new husband’s kiss,  20
For i am the brand-new husband, and also I to be the comrade. 
Or, if friend will, advertise me beneath her clothing, 
Where I may feel the throbs of your heart, or remainder upon her hip, 
Carry me when you go forth over land or sea; 
For thus, merely touching you, is enough—is best,  25
And thus, touching you, would I silently sleep and also be brought eternally. 
But these pipeline conning, you con at peril, 
For these leaves, and me, you will not understand, 
They will elude you in ~ first, and also still much more afterward—I will definitely elude you, 
Even while you must think you had actually unquestionably captured me, behold!  30
Already you check out I have escaped native you. 
For that is not for what I have put into it the I have actually written this book, 
Nor is the by reading it you will acquire it, 
Nor do those know me finest who admire me, and also vauntingly prayer me, 
Nor will the candidates because that my love, (unless at most a very few,) prove victorious,  35
Nor will certainly my poems do great only—they will certainly do simply as lot evil, maybe more; 
For every is useless without that which you might guess at numerous times and not hit—that which ns hinted at; 
Therefore relax me, and depart on her way.

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