Verse > Anthologies > Andrew Macphail, ed. > The Book of Sorrow
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Andrew Macphail, comp.  The Book of Sorrow.  1916.
 
XXIV. Bitter Sorrow
Tears
By Walt Whitman (1819–1892)
 
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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