Where the life-car is drawn on the slip-noose, where the heat hatches pale-green eggs in the dented sand,. Where the fin of the shark cuts like a black chip out of the water,. Where shells grow to her slimy deck, where the dead are corrupt- ing below;. Where the dense-starr'd flag is borne at the head of the regiments,.
Under Niagara, the cataract falling like a veil over my countenance,. Upon the race-course, or enjoying picnics or jigs or a good game of base-ball,. At he-festivals, with blackguard gibes, ironical license, bull-dances, drinking, laughter,. At the cider-mill tasting the sweets of the brown mash, sucking the juice through a straw,. At musters, beach-parties, friendly bees, huskings, house-raisings;. Where the mocking-bird sounds his delicious gurgles, cackles, screams, weeps,. Where the hay-rick stands in the barn-yard, where the dry-stalks are scatter'd, where the brood-cow waits in the hovel,.
Where the bull advances to do his masculine work, where the stud to the mare, where the cock is treading the hen,. Where the heifers browse, where geese nip their food with short jerks,. Where sun-down shadows lengthen over the limitless and lonesome prairie,. Where herds of buffalo make a crawling spread of the square miles far and near,. Where the humming-bird shimmers, where the neck of the long- lived swan is curving and winding,.
Where the laughing-gull scoots by the shore, where she laughs her near-human laugh,. Where bee-hives range on a gray bench in the garden half hid by the high weeds,. Where band-neck'd partridges roost in a ring on the ground with their heads out,. Where the yellow-crown'd heron comes to the edge of the marsh at night and feeds upon small crabs,.
Where the katy-did works her chromatic reed on the walnut-tree over the well,. Through patches of citrons and cucumbers with silver-wired leaves,. Through the gymnasium, through the curtain'd saloon, through the office or public hall;. Pleas'd with the native and pleas'd with the foreign, pleas'd with the new and old,.
Pleas'd with the quakeress as she puts off her bonnet and talks melodiously,. Pleas'd with the earnest words of the sweating Methodist preach- er, impress'd seriously at the camp-meeting;. Looking in at the shop-windows of Broadway the whole forenoon, flatting the flesh of my nose on the thick plate glass,. Wandering the same afternoon with my face turn'd up to the clouds, or down a lane or along the beach,. My right and left arms round the sides of two friends, and I in the middle;. Coming home with the silent and dark-cheek'd bush-boy, behind me he rides at the drape of the day,.
Far from the settlements studying the print of animals' feet, or the moccasin print,.
Poems of Passion
By the cot in the hospital reaching lemonade to a feverish patient,. Nigh the coffin'd corpse when all is still, examining with a candle;. Solitary at midnight in my back yard, my thoughts gone from me a long while,.
Walking the old hills of Judaea with the beautiful gentle God by my side,. Speeding amid the seven satellites and the broad ring, and the diameter of eighty thousand miles,. Carrying the crescent child that carries its own full mother in its belly,. My messengers continually cruise away or bring their returns to me. I go hunting polar furs and the seal, leaping chasms with a pike- pointed staff, clinging to topples of brittle and blue.
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Through the clear atmosphere I stretch around on the wonderful beauty,. The enormous masses of ice pass me and I pass them, the scenery is plain in all directions,. The white-topt mountains show in the distance, I fling out my fancies toward them,. We are approaching some great battle-field in which we are soon to be engaged,.
We pass the colossal outposts of the encampment, we pass with still feet and caution,.
The blocks and fallen architecture more than all the living cities of the globe. My voice is the wife's voice, the screech by the rail of the stairs,. How the skipper saw the crowded and rudderless wreck of the steam-ship, and Death chasing it up and down the storm,. How he knuckled tight and gave not back an inch, and was faith ful of days and faithful of nights,. And chalk'd in large letters on a board, Be of good cheer, we will not desert you;.
How he follow'd with them and tack'd with them three days and would not give it up,.
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How the lank loose-gown'd women look'd when boated from the side of their prepared graves,. How the silent old-faced infants and the lifted sick, and the sharp- lipp'd unshaved men;. All this I swallow, it tastes good, I like it well, it becomes mine,. The mother of old, condemn'd for a witch, burnt with dry wood, her children gazing on,. The hounded slave that flags in the race, leans by the fence, blow- ing, cover'd with sweat,.
The twinges that sting like needles his legs and neck, the mur- derous buckshot and the bullets,. Hell and despair are upon me, crack and again crack the marks- men,. I clutch the rails of the fence, my gore dribs, thinn'd with the ooze of my skin,. Taunt my dizzy ears and beat me violently over the head with whip-stocks. I do not ask the wounded person how he feels, I myself become the wounded person,. Heat and smoke I inspired, I heard the yelling shouts of my com- rades,. I lie in the night air in my red shirt, the pervading hush is for my sake,.
White and beautiful are the faces around me, the heads are bared of their fire-caps,. They show as the dial or move as the hands of me, I am the clock myself.
Take Me to the Sea: Poems
The fall of grenades through the rent roof, the fan-shaped explo- sion,. Again gurgles the mouth of my dying general, he furiously waves with his hand,. He gasps through the clot Mind not me—mind—the entrench- ments. Retreating they had form'd in a hollow square with their baggage for breastworks,.
Poems of Passion
Nine hundred lives out of the surrounding enemy's, nine times their number, was the price they took in advance,. They treated for an honorable capitulation, receiv'd writing and seal, gave up their arms and march'd back prisoners of war. The second First-day morning they were brought out in squads and massacred, it was beautiful early summer,.
Some made a mad and helpless rush, some stood stark and straight,. A few fell at once, shot in the temple or heart, the living and dead lay together,. The maim'd and mangled dug in the dirt, the new-comers saw hem there,. These were despatch'd with bayonets or batter'd with the blunts of muskets,.
A youth not seventeen years old seiz'd his assassin till two more came to release him,. That is the tale of the murder of the four hundred and twelve young men. List to the yarn, as my grandmother's father the sailor told it to me. His was the surly English pluck, and there is no tougher or truer, and never was, and never will be;. On our lower-gun-deck two large pieces had burst at the first fire, killing all around and blowing up overhead.
Take Me - Visitor's Poem
Ten o'clock at night, the full moon well up, our leaks on the gain, and five feet of water reported,. The master-at-arms loosing the prisoners confined in the after-hold to give them a chance for themselves. The transit to and from the magazine is now stopt by the sentinels,. We have not struck, he composedly cries, we have just begun our part of the fighting. One is directed by the captain himself against the enemy's main- mast,. Two well serv'd with grape and canister silence his musketry and clear his decks.
The tops alone second the fire of this little battery, especially the main-top,. The leaks gain fast on the pumps, the fire eats toward the powder- magazine. One of the pumps has been shot away, it is generally thought we are sinking.
Take Me To Heaven
Toward twelve there in the beams of the moon they surrender to us. Our vessel riddled and slowly sinking, preparations to pass to the one we have conquer'd,. The captain on the quarter-deck coldly giving his orders through a countenance white as a sheet,. The dead face of an old salt with long white hair and carefully curl'd whiskers,. The flames spite of all that can be done flickering aloft and below,. Formless stacks of bodies and bodies by themselves, dabs of flesh upon the masts and spars,.
Cut of cordage, dangle of rigging, slight shock of the soothe of waves,. Delicate sniffs of sea-breeze, smells of sedgy grass and fields by the shore, death-messages given in charge to survivors,. Wheeze, cluck, swash of falling blood, short wild scream, and long, dull, tapering groan,. For me the keepers of convicts shoulder their carbines and keep watch,.
Not a mutineer walks handcuff'd to jail but I am handcuff'd to him and walk by his side,.
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