Verse > Walt Whitman > Leaves of Grass

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

134. I saw Old General at Bay

I SAW old General at bay; 
(Old as he was, his grey eyes yet shone out in battle like stars;) 
His small force was now completely hemm’d in, in his works; 
He call’d for volunteers to run the enemy’s lines—a desperate emergency; 
I saw a hundred and more step forth from the ranks—but two or three were selected;         5
I saw them receive their orders aside—they listen’d with care—the adjutant was very grave; 
I saw them depart with cheerfulness, freely risking their lives. 


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