IN paths untrodden,
In the growth by margins of pond-waters,
Escaped from the life that exhibits itself,
From all the standards hitherto publish’d—from the pleasures, profits,
eruditions,
conformities,
Which too long I was offering to feed my soul;
Clear to me, now, standards not yet publish’d—clear to me that my Soul,
That the Soul of the man I speak for, feeds, rejoices most in comrades;
Here, by myself, away from the clank of the world,
Tallying and talk’d to here by tongues aromatic,
No longer abash’d—for in this secluded spot I can respond as I would not dare
elsewhere,
Strong upon me the life that does not exhibit itself, yet contains all the rest,
Resolv’d to sing no songs to-day but those of manly attachment,
Projecting them along that substantial life,
Bequeathing, hence, types of athletic love,
Afternoon, this delicious Ninth-month, in my forty-first year,
I proceed, for all who are, or have been, young men,
To tell the secret of my nights and days,
To celebrate the need of comrades.

Analysis, meaning and summary of Walt Whitman's poem In Paths Untrodden.

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