English poetry

Poems in English


Chanting the Square Deific

1
CHANTING the square deific, out of the One advancing, out of the sides;
Out of the old and new-out of the square entirely divine,
Solid, four-sided, (all the sides needed)… from this side JEHOVAH am I,
Old Brahm I, and I Saturnius am;
Not Time affects me-I am Time, old, modern as any;
Unpersuadable, relentless, executing righteous judgments;
As the Earth, the Father, the brown old Kronos, with laws,
Aged beyond computation-yet ever new-ever with those mighty laws rolling,
Relentless, I forgive no man-whoever sins, dies-I will have that man’s
life;
Therefore let none expect mercy-Have the seasons, gravitation, the appointed days,
mercy?-No more have I;
But as the seasons, and gravitation-and as all the appointed days, that forgive not,
I dispense from this side judgments inexorable, without the least remorse.

2
Consolator most mild, the promis’d one advancing,
With gentle hand extended-the mightier God am I,
Foretold by prophets and poets, in their most rapt prophecies and poems;
From this side, lo! the Lord CHRIST gazes-lo! Hermes I-lo! mine is
Hercules’
face;
All sorrow, labor, suffering, I, tallying it, absorb in myself;
Many times have I been rejected, taunted, put in prison, and crucified-and many times
shall be again;
All the world have I given up for my dear brothers’ and sisters’ sake-for
the
soul’s sake;
Wending my way through the homes of men, rich or poor, with the kiss of affection;
For I am affection-I am the cheer-bringing God, with hope, and all-enclosing Charity;

(Conqueror yet-for before me all the armies and soldiers of the earth shall yet
bow-and all the weapons of war become impotent:)
With indulgent words, as to children-with fresh and sane words, mine only;
Young and strong I pass, knowing well I am destin’d myself to an early death:
But my Charity has no death-my Wisdom dies not, neither early nor late,
And my sweet Love, bequeath’d here and elsewhere, never dies.

3
Aloof, dissatisfied, plotting revolt,
Comrade of criminals, brother of slaves,
Crafty, despised, a drudge, ignorant,
With sudra face and worn brow, black, but in the depths of my heart, proud as any;
Lifted, now and always, against whoever, scorning, assumes to rule me;
Morose, full of guile, full of reminiscences, brooding, with many wiles,
(Though it was thought I was baffled and dispell’d, and my wiles done-but that
will
never be;)
Defiant, I, SATAN, still live-still utter words-in new lands duly appearing,
(and old
ones also;)
Permanent here, from my side, warlike, equal with any, real as any,
Nor time, nor change, shall ever change me or my words.

4
Santa SPIRITA, breather, life,
Beyond the light, lighter than light,
Beyond the flames of hell-joyous, leaping easily above hell;
Beyond Paradise-perfumed solely with mine own perfume;
Including all life on earth-touching, including God-including Saviour and Satan;

Ethereal, pervading all, (for without me, what were all? what were God?)
Essence of forms-life of the real identities, permanent, positive, (namely the
unseen,)
Life of the great round world, the sun and stars, and of man-I, the general Soul,
Here the square finishing, the solid, I the most solid,
Breathe my breath also through these songs.

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Poem Chanting the Square Deific - Walt Whitman