Camps of Green

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from Leaves of Grass: BOOK XXXIII. SONGS OF PARTING - by Walt Whitman.

  Nor alone those camps of white, old comrades of the wars,
  When as order’d forward, after a long march,
  Footsore and weary, soon as the light lessens we halt for the night,
  Some of us so fatigued carrying the gun and knapsack, dropping
      asleep in our tracks,
  Others pitching the little tents, and the fires lit up begin to sparkle,
  Outposts of pickets posted surrounding alert through the dark,
  And a word provided for countersign, careful for safety,
  Till to the call of the drummers at daybreak loudly beating the drums,
  We rise up refresh’d, the night and sleep pass’d over, and resume our
  Or proceed to battle.

  Lo, the camps of the tents of green,
  Which the days of peace keep filling, and the days of war keep filling,
  With a mystic army, (is it too order’d forward? is it too only
      halting awhile,
  Till night and sleep pass over?)

  Now in those camps of green, in their tents dotting the world,
  In the parents, children, husbands, wives, in them, in the old and young,
  Sleeping under the sunlight, sleeping under the moonlight, content
      and silent there at last,
  Behold the mighty bivouac-field and waiting-camp of all,
  Of the corps and generals all, and the President over the corps and
      generals all,
  And of each of us O soldiers, and of each and all in the ranks we fought,
  (There without hatred we all, all meet.)

  For presently O soldiers, we too camp in our place in the
      bivouac-camps of green,
  But we need not provide for outposts, nor word for the countersign,
  Nor drummer to beat the morning drum.


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