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 19th Century Poetry, American literature, American poets, Daily Whitman, free verse, Leaves of Grass, literature, poems, poetry, Transcendentalists, Walt Whitman. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.