Daily Whitman


How Solemn As One by One [Washington City, 1865]

  How solemn as one by one,
  As the ranks returning worn and sweaty, as the men file by where stand,
  As the faces the masks appear, as I glance at the faces studying the masks,
  (As I glance upward out of this page studying you, dear friend,
      whoever you are,)
  How solemn the thought of my whispering soul to each in the ranks,
      and to you,
  I see behind each mask that wonder a kindred soul,
  O the bullet could never kill what you really are, dear friend,
  Nor the bayonet stab what you really are;
  The soul! yourself I see, great as any, good as the Most Unexceptional,
  Waiting secure and content, which the bullet could never kill,
  Nor the bayonet stab O friend.

Posted on 07/02/2015, in literature, poetry and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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