As I sit with others at a great feast, suddenly while the music is playing,
To my mind, (whence it comes I know not,) spectral in mist of a
wreck at sea,
Of certain ships, how they sail from port with flying streamers and
wafted kisses, and that is the last of them,
Of the solemn and murky mystery about the fate of the President,
Of the flower of the marine science of fifty generations founder’d
off the Northeast coast and going down—of the steamship Arctic
Of the veil’d tableau-women gather’d together on deck, pale, heroic,
waiting the moment that draws so close—O the moment!
A huge sob—a few bubbles—the white foam spirting up—and then the
Sinking there while the passionless wet flows on—and I now
pondering, Are those women indeed gone?
Are souls drown’d and destroy’d so?
Is only matter triumphant?
|from Leaves of Grass: BOOK XXX. WHISPERS OF HEAVENLY DEATH|
by Walt Whitman
|Night on the Prairies||The Last Invocation|