Woodblock Illustration by Wharton Harris Esherick for Walt Whitman’s The Song Of The Broad Axe.
Weapon shapely, naked, wan,
Head from the mother’s bowels drawn,
Wooded flesh and metal bone, limb only one and lip only one,
Gray-blue leaf by red-heat grown, helve produced from a little seed sown,
Resting the grass amid and upon,
To be lean’d and to lean on.
Strong shapes and attributes of strong shapes, masculine trades,
sights and sounds.
Long varied train of an emblem, dabs of music,
Fingers of the organist skipping staccato over the keys of the great organ.

Woodblock Illustration by Wharton Harris Esherick for Walt Whitman’s The Song Of The Broad Axe.

Weapon shapely, naked, wan,

Head from the mother’s bowels drawn,

Wooded flesh and metal bone, limb only one and lip only one,

Gray-blue leaf by red-heat grown, helve produced from a little seed sown,

Resting the grass amid and upon,

To be lean’d and to lean on.

Strong shapes and attributes of strong shapes, masculine trades,

sights and sounds.

Long varied train of an emblem, dabs of music,

Fingers of the organist skipping staccato over the keys of the great organ.

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