Dirge For Two Veterans


  THE last sunbeam
  Lightly falls from the finish'd Sabbath,
  On the pavement here--and there beyond, it is looking,
  Down a new-made double grave.

  Lo! the moon ascending!
  Up from the east, the silvery round moon;
  Beautiful over the house tops, ghastly phantom moon;
  Immense and silent moon.

  I see a sad procession,
  And I hear the sound of coming full-key'd bugles; 10
  All the channels of the city streets they're flooding,
  As with voices and with tears.

  I hear the great drums pounding,
  And the small drums steady whirring;
  And every blow of the great convulsive drums,
  Strikes me through and through.

  For the son is brought with the father;
  In the foremost ranks of the fierce assault they fell;
  Two veterans, son and father, dropt together,
  And the double grave awaits them. 20

  Now nearer blow the bugles,
  And the drums strike more convulsive;
  And the day-light o'er the pavement quite has faded,
  And the strong dead-march enwraps me.

  In the eastern sky up-buoying,
  The sorrowful vast phantom moves illumin'd;
  ('Tis some mother's large, transparent face,
  In heaven brighter growing.)

  O strong dead-march, you please me!
  O moon immense, with your silvery face you soothe me! 30
  O my soldiers twain! O my veterans, passing to burial!
  What I have I also give you.

  The moon gives you light,
  And the bugles and the drums give you music;
  And my heart, O my soldiers, my veterans,
  My heart gives you love.

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Walt Whitman

Walter "Walt" Whitman was an American poet, essayist and journalist. more…

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"Dirge For Two Veterans" Poetry.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2020. Web. 31 May 2020. <https://www.poetry.net/poem/37999/dirge-for-two-veterans>.

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