Walt Whitman: Poems

Walt Whitman: The Friend

Recorders ages hence!

Come, I will take you down underneath this impassive exterior--I will tell

you what to say of me;

Publish my name and hang up my picture as that of the tenderest lover,

The friend, the lover's portrait, of whom his friend, his lover, was


Who was not proud of his songs, but of the measureless ocean of love within

him--and freely poured it forth,

Who often walked lonesome walks, thinking of his dear friends, his lovers,

Who pensive, away from one he loved, often lay sleepless and dissatisfied

at night,

Who knew too well the sick, sick dread lest the one he loved might secretly

be indifferent to him,

Whose happiest days were far away, through fields, in woods, on hills, he

and another, wandering hand in hand, they twain, apart from other


Who oft, as he sauntered the streets, curved with his arm the shoulder of

his friend--while the arm of his friend rested upon him also.