Verse > Walt Whitman > Leaves of Grass

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

214. Tears

TEARS! tears! tears! 
In the night, in solitude, tears; 
On the white shore dripping, dripping, suck’d in by the sand; 
Tears—not a star shining—all dark and desolate; 
Moist tears from the eyes of a muffled head:         5
—O who is that ghost?—that form in the dark, with tears? 
What shapeless lump is that, bent, crouch’d there on the sand? 
Streaming tears—sobbing tears—throes, choked with wild cries; 
O storm, embodied, rising, careering, with swift steps along the beach; 
O wild and dismal night storm, with wind! O belching and desperate!  10
O shade, so sedate and decorous by day, with calm countenance and regulated pace; 
But away, at night, as you fly, none looking—O then the unloosen’d ocean, 
Of tears! tears! tears! 


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