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

309. Despairing Cries


1

DESPAIRING cries float ceaselessly toward me, day and night,
 
The sad voice of Death—the call of my nearest lover, putting forth, alarmed, uncertain, 
This sea I am quickly to sail, come tell me, 
Come tell me where I am speeding—tell me my destination. 
  
2

I understand your anguish, but I cannot help you,
         5
I approach, hear, behold—the sad mouth, the look out of the eyes, your mute inquiry, 
Whither I go from the bed I now recline on, come tell me; 
Old age, alarmed, uncertain—A young woman’s voice appealing to me, for comfort, 
A young man’s voice, Shall I not escape? 


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