Sunday, June 22, 2008

"Of The Terrible Doubt Of Appearances"by Walt Whitman
Of the terrible doubt of appearances,Of the uncertainty after all, that we may be deluded,That may-be reliance and hope are but speculations after all,That may-be identity beyond the grave is a beautiful fable only,May-be the things I perceive, the animals, plants, men, hills,shining and flowing waters,The skies of day and night, colors, densities, forms, may-bethese are (as doubtless they are) only apparitions, andthe real something has yet to be known,(How often they dart out of themselves as if to confound me and mock me!How often I think neither I know, nor any man knows,aught of them,)May-be seeming to me what they are (as doubtless they indeed but seem) as from my present point of view, andmight prove (as of course they would) nought of whatthey appear, or nought anyhow, from entirely changedpoints of view;To me these and the like of these are curiously answer'd bymy lovers, my dear friends,When he whom I love travels with me or sits a long whileholding me by the hand,When the subtle air, the impalpable, the sense that words and reason hold not, surround us and pervade us,Then I am charged with untold and untellable wisdom, I amsilent, I require nothing further,I cannot answer the question of appearances or that ofidentity beyond the grave,But I walk or sit indifferent, I am satisfied,He ahold of my hand has completely satisfied me. "

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