Walt Whitman

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

Yet, Yet, Ye Downcast Hours



YET, yet, ye downcast hours, I know ye also;
Weights of lead, how ye clog and cling at my ankles!
Earth to a chamber of mourning turns--I hear the o'erweening, mocking
voice,
Matter is conqueror--matter, triumphant only, continues onward.


Despairing cries float ceaselessly toward me,
The call of my nearest lover, putting forth, alarm'd, uncertain,
The Sea I am quickly to sail, come tell me,
Come tell me where I am speeding--tell me my destination.


I understand your anguish, but I cannot help you,
I approach, hear, behold--the sad mouth, the look out of the eyes,
your mute inquiry, 10
Whither I go from the bed I recline on, come tell me:
Old age, alarm'd, uncertain--A young woman's voice, appealing to me
for comfort;
A young man's voice, Shall I not escape?

Submitted: Tuesday, December 31, 2002

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