the manly love of comrades

Passing stranger! you do not know how longingly I look upon you.

You must be he I was seeking, I was seeking, (it comes to me, as of a dream,)


I have somewhere surely lived a life of joy with you,
All is recall’d as we flit by each other, fluid, affectionate, chaste, matured,
You grew up with me, were a boy with me.

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I ate with you, and slept with you—your body has become not yours only, nor left my body mine only,
You give me the pleasure of your eyes, face, flesh, as we pass—you take of my beard, breast, hands, in return.

I am not to speak to you—I am to think of you when I sit alone, or wake at night alone,
I am to wait—I do not doubt I am to meet you again.

I am to see to it that I do not lose you.

From ; The “Calamus” poems are a cluster of poems in Leaves of Grass by  Walt Whitman. These poems celebrate and promote “the manly love of comrades“. Most critics believe that these poems are Whitman’s clearest expressions in print of his ideas about homosexual love.

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