I Saw in Louisiana A Live-Oak Growing

Original Text: 
Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass (Philadelphia: David McKay, 1891-92): 105-06. PS 3201 1891 Robarts Library.
1I saw in Louisiana a live-oak growing,
2All alone stood it and the moss hung down from the branches,
3Without any companion it grew there uttering joyous leaves of dark green,
4And its look, rude, unbending, lusty, made me think of myself,
5But I wonder'd how it could utter joyous leaves standing alone there without its friend near, for I knew I could not,
6And I broke off a twig with a certain number of leaves upon it, and twined around it a little moss,
7And brought it away, and I have placed it in sight in my room,
8It is not needed to remind me as of my own dear friends,
9(For I believe lately I think of little else than of them,)
10Yet it remains to me a curious token, it makes me think of manly love;
11For all that, and though the live-oak glistens there in Louisiana solitary in a wide flat space,
12Uttering joyous leaves all its life without a friend a lover near,
13I know very well I could not.
Publication Start Year: 
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire
RPO Edition: 
RPO 1998.