O Captain! My Captain! our fearful trip is done.
joy of suffering! To struggle against great odds! to meet enemies undaunted! To be entirely alone with them! to find how much one can stand! To look strife, torture, prison, popular odium, death, face to face! To mount the scaffold! to advance to the muzzles of guns with perfect nonchalance! To be indeed a God!
That the hands of the sisters Death and Night incessantly softly wash again and ever again, this soiled world.
Come lovely and soothing death, Undulate round the world, serenely arriving, arriving, In the day, in the night, to all, to each, Sooner or later, delicate death.
I announce the great individual, fluid as Nature, chaste, affectionate, compassionate, fully armed; I announce a life that shall be copious, vehement, spiritual, bold, And I announce an end that shall lightly and joyfully meet its translation.
I see that I am to wait for what will be exhibited by death.
Comrades mine and I in the midst, and their memory ever to keep for the dead I loved so well.
What do you think has become of the young and old men? And what do you think has become of the women and children? They are alive and well somewhere, The smallest sprout shows there is really no death, And if ever there was it led forward life, and does not wait at the end to arrest it, And ceas’d the moment life appear’d. All goes onward and outward, nothing collapses, And to die is different from what any one supposed, and luckier.
And as to you Death, and you bitter hug of mortality, it is idle to try to alarm me…. And as to you corpse, I think you are good manure, but that does not offend me, I smell the white roses sweet-scented and growing, I reach to the leafy lips — I reach to the polished breasts of melons. And as to you life, I reckon you are the leavings of many deaths, No doubt I have died myself ten thousand times before.
O public road, I say back I am not afraid to leave you, yet I love you, you express me better than I can express myself.
Love-buds, put before you and within you, whoever you are, Buds to be unfolded on the old terms; If you bring the warmth of the sun to them, they will open, and bring form, color, perfume, to you; If you become the aliment and the wet, they will become flowers, fruits, tall blanches and trees.
The female that loves unrequited sleeps,
And the male that loves unrequited sleeps,
The head of the money-maker that plotted all day sleeps,
And the enraged and treacherous dispositions, all, all sleep.
Now I see that there is no such thing as love unreturn’d. The pay is certain, one way or another.
As soon as histories are properly told there is no more need of romances.
I will write the evangel-poem of comrades and of love.
Sometimes with one I love, I fill myself with rage, for fear I effuse unreturn’d love; But now I think there is no unreturn’d love—the pay is certain, one way or another; (I loved a certain person ardently, and my love was not return’d; Yet out of that, I have written these songs.)
Love, that is day and night – love, that is sun and moon and stars, Love, that is crimson, sumptuous, sick with perfume, no other words but words of love, no other thought but love.
Now, dearest comrade, lift me to your face,
We must separate awhileHere! take from my lips this kiss.
Whoever you are, I give it especially to you;
So long!And I hope we shall meet again.
Day by day and night by night we were together – all else has long been forgotten by me.
The city sleeps and the country sleeps, the living sleep for their time, the dead sleep for their time, the old husband sleeps by his wife and the young husband sleeps by his wife; and these tend inward to me, and I tend outward to them, and such as it is to be of these more or less I am, and of these one and all I weave the song of myself.