To a Common Prostitute


"To a Common Prostitute" is the third song of Ned Rorem's song cycle Three Calamus Poems, which sets three poems by Walt Whitman.

To a Common Prostitute
by Walt Whitman

Be composed - be at case with me - I am Walt Whitman, liberal and lusty as Nature,
Not till the sun excludes you do I exclude you,
Not till the waters refuse to glisten for you and the leaves to rustle for you,
do my words refuse to glisten and rustle for you.

My girl I appoint with you an appointment, and I charge you that you make preparation
to be worthy to meet me,

And I charge you that you be patient and perfect till I come.

Till then I salute you with a significant look that you do not forget me.

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