Daily Whitman



When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom’d

  Passing the visions, passing the night,
  Passing, unloosing the hold of my comrades' hands,
  Passing the song of the hermit bird and the tallying song of my soul,
  Victorious song, death's outlet song, yet varying ever-altering song,
  As low and wailing, yet clear the notes, rising and falling,
      flooding the night,
  Sadly sinking and fainting, as warning and warning, and yet again
      bursting with joy,
  Covering the earth and filling the spread of the heaven,
  As that powerful psalm in the night I heard from recesses,
  Passing, I leave thee lilac with heart-shaped leaves,
  I leave thee there in the door-yard, blooming, returning with spring.

  I cease from my song for thee,
  From my gaze on thee in the west, fronting the west, communing with thee,
  O comrade lustrous with silver face in the night.

  Yet each to keep and all, retrievements out of the night,
  The song, the wondrous chant of the gray-brown bird,
  And the tallying chant, the echo arous'd in my soul,
  With the lustrous and drooping star with the countenance full of woe,
  With the holders holding my hand nearing the call of the bird,
  Comrades mine and I in the midst, and their memory ever to keep, for
      the dead I loved so well,
  For the sweetest, wisest soul of all my days and lands—and this for
      his dear sake,
  Lilac and star and bird twined with the chant of my soul,
  There in the fragrant pines and the cedars dusk and dim.


Posted on 03/03/2015, in literature, poetry and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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