Sunday, September 07, 2008

Whitman: How Solemn as One by One...

HOW solemn, as one by one,  
As the ranks returning, all worn and sweaty—as the men file by where I stand;  
As the faces, the masks appear—as I glance at the faces, studying the masks;  
(As I glance upward out of this page, studying you, dear friend, whoever you are;)  
How solemn the thought of my whispering soul, to each in the ranks, and to you;
I see behind each mask, that wonder, a kindred soul;  
O the bullet could never kill what you really are, dear friend,  
Nor the bayonet stab what you really are:  
... The soul! yourself I see, great as any, good as the best,  
Waiting, secure and content, which the bullet could never kill,Nor the bayonet stab, O friend!

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