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(31 May 1819 - 26 March 1892 / New York / United States)

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As I lay With Head In Your Lap, Camerado


AS I lay with my head in your lap, Camerado,
The confession I made I resume--what I said to you in the open air I
resume:
I know I am restless, and make others so;
I know my words are weapons, full of danger, full of death;
(Indeed I am myself the real soldier;
It is not he, there, with his bayonet, and not the red-striped
artilleryman;)
For I confront peace, security, and all the settled laws, to unsettle
them;
I am more resolute because all have denied me, than I could ever have
been had all accepted me;
I heed not, and have never heeded, either experience, cautions,
majorities, nor ridicule;
And the threat of what is call'd hell is little or nothing to me; 10
And the lure of what is call'd heaven is little or nothing to me;
...Dear camerado! I confess I have urged you onward with me, and
still urge you, without the least idea what is our destination,
Or whether we shall be victorious, or utterly quell'd and defeated.

Submitted: Tuesday, December 31, 2002


Read poems about / on: soldier, peace, red, heaven, death

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