Nonfiction > Walt Whitman > Prose Works > I. Specimen Days > 80. Inauguration Ball
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Walt Whitman (1819–1892).  Prose Works. 1892.
  
I. Specimen Days
80. Inauguration Ball
  
March 6.—I HAVE been up to look at the dance and supper-rooms, for the inauguration ball at the Patent office; and I could not help thinking, what a different scene they presented to my view a while since, fill’d with a crowded mass of the worst wounded of the war, brought in from second Bull Run, Antietam, and Fredericksburgh. To-night, beautiful women, perfumes, the violins’ sweetness, the polka and the waltz; then the amputation, the blue face, the groan, the glassy eye of the dying, the clotted rag, the odor of wounds and blood, and many a mother’s son amid strangers, passing away untended there, (for the crowd of the badly hurt was great, and much for nurse to do, and much for surgeon.)   1

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