Walt Whitman: Poems

Walt Whitman: Night and Death


Night on the prairies.

The supper is over--the fire on the ground burns low;

The wearied emigrants sleep, wrapped in their blankets;

I walk by myself--I stand and look at the stars, which I think now I never

realised before.

Now I absorb immortality and peace,

I admire death, and test propositions.

How plenteous! How spiritual! How _resume_!

The same Old Man and Soul--the same old aspirations, and the same content.


I was thinking the day most splendid, till I saw what the not day


I was thinking this globe enough, till there sprang out so noiseless around

me myriads of other globes.

Now, while the great thoughts of space and eternity fill me, I will measure

myself by them:

And now, touched with the lives of other globes, arrived as far along as

those of the earth,

Or waiting to arrive, or passed on farther than those of the earth,

I henceforth no more ignore them than I ignore my own life,

Or the lives of the earth arrived as far as mine, or waiting to arrive.


O I see now that life cannot exhibit all to me-as the day cannot,

I see that I am to wait for what will be exhibited by death.