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

203. Yet, Yet, Ye Downcast Hours


1

YET, yet, ye downcast hours, I know ye also;
 
Weights of lead, how ye clog and cling at my ankles! 
Earth to a chamber of mourning turns—I hear the o’erweening, mocking voice, 
Matter is conqueror—matter, triumphant only, continues onward. 
  
2

Despairing cries float ceaselessly toward me,
         5
The call of my nearest lover, putting forth, alarm’d, uncertain, 
The Sea I am quickly to sail, come tell me, 
Come tell me where I am speeding—tell me my destination. 
  
3

I understand your anguish, but I cannot help you,
 
I approach, hear, behold—the sad mouth, the look out of the eyes, your mute inquiry,  10
Whither I go from the bed I recline on, come tell me: 
Old age, alarm’d, uncertain—A young woman’s voice, appealing to me for comfort; 
A young man’s voice, Shall I not escape? 


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