That Music Always Round Me

A poem by Walt Whitman

That music always round me, unceasing, unbeginning yet long untaught I did not hear;
But now the chorus I hear, and am elated;
A tenor, strong, ascending, with power and health, with glad notes of day-break I hear,
A soprano, at intervals, sailing buoyantly over the tops of immense waves,
A transparent bass, shuddering lusciously under and through the universe,
The triumphant tutti the funeral wailings, with sweet flutes and violins all these I fill myself with;
I hear not the volumes of sound merely I am moved by the exquisite meanings,
I listen to the different voices winding in and out, striving, contending with fiery vehemence to excel each other in emotion;
I do not think the performers know themselves but now I think I begin to know them.

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