Sparkles from the Wheel

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from Leaves of Grass: Book XXIV - by Walt Whitman.

  Where the city’s ceaseless crowd moves on the livelong day,
  Withdrawn I join a group of children watching, I pause aside with them.

  By the curb toward the edge of the flagging,
  A knife-grinder works at his wheel sharpening a great knife,
  Bending over he carefully holds it to the stone, by foot and knee,
  With measur’d tread he turns rapidly, as he presses with light but
      firm hand,
  Forth issue then in copious golden jets,
  Sparkles from the wheel.

  The scene and all its belongings, how they seize and affect me,
  The sad sharp-chinn’d old man with worn clothes and broad
      shoulder-band of leather,
  Myself effusing and fluid, a phantom curiously floating, now here
      absorb’d and arrested,
  The group, (an unminded point set in a vast surrounding,)
  The attentive, quiet children, the loud, proud, restive base of the streets,
  The low hoarse purr of the whirling stone, the light-press’d blade,
  Diffusing, dropping, sideways-darting, in tiny showers of gold,
  Sparkles from the wheel.


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