Twenty-eight young men bathe by the shore,
Twenty-eight young men, and all so friendly,
Twenty-eight years of womanly life, and all so lonesome.
She owns the fine house by the rise of the bank,
She hides handsome and richly drest aft the blinds of the window.
Which of the young men does she like the best?
Ah the homeliest of them is beautiful to her.
Where are you off to, lady? for I see you,
You splash in the water there, yet stay stock still in your room.
Dancing and laughing along the beach came the twenty- ninth bather,
The rest did not see her, but she saw them and loved them. (section 11)
Throughout the poem, the speaker "identifies" with various other people and characters in small vignettes like this one. The shy woman hides behind her window but touches the naked men with her eyes. The poem takes on her perspective as Whitman pours his enormous personality into her.