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

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

92. The City Dead-House


BY the City Dead-House, by the gate, 
As idly sauntering, wending my way from the clangor, 
I curious pause—for lo! an outcast form, a poor dead prostitute brought; 
Her corpse they deposit unclaim’d—it lies on the damp brick pavement; 
The divine woman, her body—I see the Body—I look on it alone,         5
That house once full of passion and beauty—all else I notice not; 
Nor stillness so cold, nor running water from faucet, nor odors morbific impress me; 
But the house alone—that wondrous house—that delicate fair house—that ruin! 
That immortal house, more than all the rows of dwellings ever built! 
Or white-domed Capitol itself, with majestic figure surmounted—or all the old high-spired cathedrals;  10
That little house alone, more than them all—poor, desperate house! 
Fair, fearful wreck! tenement of a Soul! itself a Soul! 
Unclaim’d, avoided house! take one breath from my tremulous lips; 
Take one tear, dropt aside as I go, for thought of you, 
Dead house of love! house of madness and sin, crumbled! crush’d!  15
House of life—erewhile talking and laughing—but ah, poor house! dead, even then; 
Months, years, an echoing, garnish’d house—but dead, dead, dead. 


CONTENTS      BIBLIOGRAPHIC RECORD


  PREVIOUS NEXT  
 
Check out our other writing samples, like our resources on The Great Gatsby Symbolism Essay, The Giver Essays, Television Violence Essay.
 

Shakespeare · Bible · Strunk · Anatomy · Nonfiction · Quotations · Reference · Fiction · Poetry
© 1993–2015 Bartleby.com · [Top 150] · Subjects · Titles · Authors · World Lit.