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Over the tree-tops I float thee a song,
Over the rising and sinking waves, over the myriad fields and

the prairies wide, Over the dense-pack'd cities all and the teeming wharves and

ways, I float this carol with joy, with joy to thee O death.

To the tally of my soul,
Loud and strong kept up the gray-brown bird,
With pure deliberate notes spreading filling the night.
Loud in the pines and cedars dim,
Clear in the freshness moist and the swamp-perfume,
And I with my comrades there in the night.
While my sight that was bound in my eyes unclosed,
As to long panoramas of visions.

And I saw askant the armies,
I saw as in noiseless dreams hundreds of battle-Aags,
Borne through the smoke of the battles and pierc'd with

missiles I saw them, And carried hither and yon through the smoke, and torn

and bloody, And at last but a few shreds left on the staffs, (and all in

silence) And the staffs all splinter'd and broken. I saw battle-corpses, myriads of them, And the white skeletons of young men, I saw them, I saw the debris and debris of all the slain soldiers of the

war, But I saw they were not as was thought, They themselves were fully at rest, they suffer'd not, The living remain'd and suffer'd, the mother suffer'd, And the wife and the child and the musing comrade

suffer'd, And the armies that remain'd suffer'd.

16 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,

Aooding 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.

O Captain! my Captain ! our fearful trip is done,
The ship has weather'd every rack, the prize we sought is


The port


near, the bells I hear, the people all exulting, While follow eyes the steady keel, the vessel grim and daring;

But O heart! heart! heart !
O the bleeding drops of red,
Where on the deck my Captain lies,

Fallen cold and dead.
O Captain ! my Captain ! rise up and hear the bells;
Rise up for you the Aag is Aung - for you the bugle

trills, For you bouquets and ribbon'd wreaths — for you the

shores a-crowding, For you they call, the swaying mass, their eager faces turning;

Here Captain ! dear father!
This arm beneath


It is some dream that on the deck,

You've fallen cold and dead.
My Captain does not answer, his lips are pale and still,
My father does not feel my arm, he has no pulse nor will,
The ship is anchor'd safe and sound, its voyage closed and

done, From fearful trip the victor ship comes in with object won;

Exult O shores, and ring O bells !
But I with mournful tread,
Walk the deck my Captain lies,

Fallen cold and dead.


Far hence amid an isle of wondrous beauty,
Crouching over a grave an ancient sorrowful mother,
Once a queen, now lean and tatter'd seated on the ground,
Her old white hair drooping disheveld round her shoulders,
At her feet fallen an unused royal harp,

Long silent, she too long silent, mourning her shrouded

hope and heir, Of all the earth her heart most full of sorrow because most

full of love. Yet a word ancient mother, You need crouch there no longer on the cold ground with

forehead between your knees, O you need not sit there veild in your old white hair so

disheveld, For know you the one you mourn is not in that grave, It was an illusion, the son you love was not really dead, The Lord is not dead, he is risen again young and strong

in another country, Even while you wept there by your fallen harp by the grave, What you wept for was translated, pass'd from the grave, The winds favor'd and the sea sail'd it, And now with rosy and new blood, Moves to-day in a new country.

By the city dead-house by the gate,
As idly sauntering wending my way from the clangor,
I curious pause, for lo, an outcast form, a poor dead prosti-

tute brought, Her corpse they deposit unclaim'd, it lies on the damp

brick pavement, The divine woman, her body, I see the body, I look on it

alone, That house once full of passion and beauty, all else I

notice not,

Nor stillness so cold, nor running water from faucet, nor

odors morbific impress me, But the house alone - that wondrous house - that deli

cate fair house that ruin ! That immortal house more than all the rows of dwellings

ever built! Or white-domed capitol with majestic figure surmounted,

or all the old high-spired cathedrals,

That little house alone more than them all — poor, desper

ate house! Fair, fearful wreck tenement of a soul — itself a soul, Unclaim'd, avoided house - take one breath from my

tremulous lips, Take one tear dropt aside as I

go for thought of you, Dead house of love house of madness and sin, crum

bled, crush'd, House of life, erewhile talking and laughing — but ah,

poor house, dead even then, Months, years, an echoing, garnish'd house — but dead,

dead, dead.



Something startles me where I thought I was safest,
I withdraw from the still woods I loved,
I will not go now on the pastures to walk,
I will not strip the clothes from my body to meet my lover

the sea,

I will not touch my flesh to the earth as to other Alesh to

renew me.

O how can it be that the ground itself does not sicken?
How can you be alive you growths of spring?
How can you furnish health you blood of herbs, roots, or-

chards, grain ? Are they not continually putting distemper'd corpses

within you? Is not every continent work'd over and over with sour dead ? Where have you disposed of their carcasses ? Those drunkards and gluttons of so many generations ? Where have you drawn off all the foul liquid and meat ? I do not see any of it upon you to-day, or perhaps I am

deceiv'd, I will run a furrow with my plough, I will press my spade

through the sod and turn it up underneath, I am sure I shall expose some of the foul meat.

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