Dirge for Two Veterans lyrics

Walt Whitman

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
All the channels of the city streets they are 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.)

And nearer blow the bugles
And the drums strike more convulsive
And the daylight 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!
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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