Verse > Walt Whitman > Leaves of Grass
  PREVIOUS NEXT  
CONTENTS      BIBLIOGRAPHIC RECORD

Walt Whitman (1819–1892).  Leaves of Grass.  1900.

131. Dirge for Two Veterans


1

    THE last sunbeam
 
Lightly falls from the finish’d Sabbath, 
On the pavement here—and there beyond, it is looking, 
    Down a new-made double grave. 
  
2

    Lo! the moon ascending!
         5
Up from the east, the silvery round moon; 
Beautiful over the house tops, ghastly phantom moon; 
    Immense and silent moon. 
  
3

    I see a sad procession,
 
And I hear the sound of coming full-key’d bugles;  10
All the channels of the city streets they’re flooding, 
    As with voices and with tears. 
  
4

    I hear the great drums pounding,
 
And the small drums steady whirring; 
And every blow of the great convulsive drums,  15
    Strikes me through and through. 
  
5

    For the son is brought with the father;
 
In the foremost ranks of the fierce assault they fell; 
Two veterans, son and father, dropt together, 
    And the double grave awaits them.  20
  
6

    Now nearer blow the bugles,
 
And the drums strike more convulsive; 
And the day-light o’er the pavement quite has faded, 
    And the strong dead-march enwraps me. 
  
7

    In the eastern sky up-buoying,
  25
The sorrowful vast phantom moves illumin’d; 
(’Tis some mother’s large, transparent face, 
    In heaven brighter growing.) 
  
8

    O strong dead-march, you please me!
 
O moon immense, with your silvery face you soothe me!  30
O my soldiers twain! O my veterans, passing to burial! 
    What I have I also give you. 
  
9

    The moon gives you light,
 
And the bugles and the drums give you music; 
And my heart, O my soldiers, my veterans,  35
    My heart gives you love. 


CONTENTS      BIBLIOGRAPHIC RECORD


  PREVIOUS NEXT  
 
Loading
Click here to shop the Bartleby Bookstore.

Shakespeare · Bible · Strunk · Anatomy · Nonfiction · Quotations · Reference · Fiction · Poetry
© 1993–2014 Bartleby.com · [Top 150] · Subjects · Titles · Authors