Walt Whitman

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

Ashes Of Soldiers


Again a verse for sake of you,
You soldiers in the ranks- you Volunteers,
Who bravely fighting, silent fell,
To fill unmention'd graves.

ASHES of soldiers!
As I muse, retrospective, murmuring a chant in thought,
Lo! the war resumes- again to my sense your shapes,
And again the advance of armies.

Noiseless as mists and vapors,
From their graves in the trenches ascending,
From the cemeteries all through Virginia and Tennessee,
From every point of the compass, out of the countless unnamed graves,
In wafted clouds, in myraids large, or squads of twos or threes, or
single ones, they come,
And silently gather round me. 10

Now sound no note, O trumpeters!
Not at the head of my cavalry, parading on spirited horses,
With sabres drawn and glist'ning, and carbines by their thighs- (ah,
my brave horsemen!
My handsome, tan-faced horsemen! what life, what joy and pride,
With all the perils, were yours!)

Nor you drummers- neither at reveille, at dawn,
Nor the long roll alarming the camp- nor even the muffled beat for a
burial;
Nothing from you, this time, O drummers, bearing my warlike drums.

But aside from these, and the marts of wealth, and the crowded
promenade,
Admitting around me comrades close, unseen by the rest, and
voiceless, 20
The slain elate and alive again- the dust and debris alive,
I chant this chant of my silent soul, in the name of all dead
soldiers.

Faces so pale, with wondrous eyes, very dear, gather closer yet;
Draw close, but speak not.

Phantoms of countless lost!
Invisible to the rest, henceforth become my companions!
Follow me ever! desert me not, while I live.

Sweet are the blooming cheeks of the living! sweet are the musical
voices sounding!
But sweet, ah sweet, are the dead, with their silent eyes.

Dearest comrades! all is over and long gone; 30
But love is not over- and what love, O comrades!
Perfume from battle-fields rising- up from foetor arising.

Perfume therefore my chant, O love! immortal Love!
Give me to bathe the memories of all dead soldiers,
Shroud them, embalm them, cover them all over with tender pride!

Perfume all! make all wholesome!
Make these ashes to nourish and blossom,
O love! O chant! solve all, fructify all with the last chemistry.

Give me exhaustless- make me a fountain,
That I exhale love from me wherever I go, like a moist perennial dew,
For the ashes of all dead soldiers.

Submitted: Tuesday, December 31, 2002
Edited: Monday, December 22, 2014

Topic of this poem: soldiers

Form:


Do you like this poem?
8 person liked.
12 person did not like.

Read poems about / on: pride, war, joy, lost, love, soldier, horse, rose, memory

Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Comments about this poem (Ashes Of Soldiers by Walt Whitman )

Enter the verification code :

There is no comment submitted by members..

Trending Poets

Trending Poems

  1. The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
  2. Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
  3. If, Rudyard Kipling
  4. Phenomenal Woman, Maya Angelou
  5. Dreams, Langston Hughes
  6. Conscientious Objector, Edna St. Vincent Millay
  7. I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou
  8. If You Forget Me, Pablo Neruda
  9. As I Grew Older, Langston Hughes
  10. Daffodils, William Wordsworth

Poem of the Day

poet Hilaire Belloc

Matilda told such Dreadful Lies,
It made one Gasp and Stretch one's Eyes;
Her Aunt, who, from her Earliest Youth,
Had kept a Strict Regard for Truth,
Attempted to Believe Matilda:
...... Read complete »

   

Member Poem

New Poems

  1. Reality to be face, Habib Imtiaz kinkhabwala Kin ..
  2. Lovers of the sun, Tony md chamasense
  3. A Lucky Penny, Hebert Logerie
  4. A Letter for a Broken Hearted, Reagan A. Latumbo
  5. Allure And Mystique, Margaret Alice Second
  6. Beware, Tony md chamasense
  7. Longing., Jak Black
  8. Summer Nights, Deborah Ager
  9. The Old House, Paul Gerard Reed
  10. The role of Kama, Rm.Shanmugam Chettiar.
[Hata Bildir]