Verse > Anthologies > James and Mary Ford, eds. > Every Day in the Year
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James and Mary Ford, eds.  Every Day in the Year.  1902.
 
April 15
O Captain! My Captain!
By Walt Whitman (1819–1892)
 
          Abraham Lincoln was shot in Ford’s Theater, Washington, by John Wilkes Booth on April 15, 1865.

O CAPTAIN! my Captain! our fearful trip is done;
The ship has weather’d every rack, the prize we sought is won;
The port is near, the bells I hear, the people all exulting,
While follow eyes the steady keel, the vessel grim and daring:
  But O heart! heart! heart!        5
    O the bleeding drop of red,
      Where on the deck my Captain lies,
        Fallen cold and dead!
 
O Captain! my Captain! rise up and hear the bells;
Rise up—for you the flag is flung—for you the bugle trills;        10
For you bouquets and ribbon’d wreaths—for you the shores a-crowding;
For you they call, the swaying mass, their eager faces turning;
  Here Captain! dear father!
    This arm beneath your head;
      It is some dream that on the deck,        15
        You’ve fallen cold and dead.
 
My Captain does not answer, his lips are pale and still;
My father does not feel my arm, he has no pulse nor will:
The ship is anchor’d safe and sound, its voyage closed and done;
From fearful trip the victor ship comes in with object won:        20
  Exult, O shores, and ring, O bells!
    But I, with mournful tread,
      Walk the deck my Captain lies,
        Fallen cold and dead.
 
 
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