There Was a Child Went Forth
by Walt Whitman
There was a child went forth every day;
And the first object he looked upon, that object he became.
And that object became part of him for the day, or a certain
part of the day, or for many years, or stretching cycles of years:
The early lilacs became part of this child....
And the apple-trees covered with blossoms, and the fruit
afterward, and wood-berries, and the commonest weeds by the road;
And the schoolmistress that passed on her way to the school....
The blow, the quick loud word, the tight bargain, the crafty lure,
The family usages, the language, the company, the furniture
--the yearning and swelling heart....
The doubts of day-time and the doubts of night-time--the
curious whether and how.
Whether that which appears is so, or is it all flashes and specks?
Men and women crowding fast in the streets--if they are
not flashes and specks, what are they?
These became part of that child who went forth every day,
and who now goes, and will always go forth every day.