1 From all the rest I single out you, having a message for you: You are to die -- Let others tell you what they please, I cannot prevaricate, I am exact and merciless, but I love you -- There is no escape for you. Softly I lay my right hand upon you -- you just feel it, I do not argue -- I bend my head close, and half envelope it, I sit quietly by -- I remain faithful, I am more than nurse, more than parent or neighbor, I absolve you from all except yourself, spiritual, bodily -- that is eternal -- you yourself will surely escape, The corpse you will leave will be but excrementitious. 2 The sun bursts through in unlooked-for directions! Strong thoughts fill you, and confidence -- you smile! You forget you are sick, as I forget you are sick, You do not see the medicines -- you do not mind the weeping friends -- I am with you, I exclude others from you -- there is nothing to be commiserated, I do not commiserate -- I congratulate you.
- by Walt Whitman (1819 - 1892), "To one shortly to die", appears in Leaves of Grass, first published 1900 [author's text checked 1 time against a primary source]
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Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]
This text was added to the website: 2013-12-08
Line count: 18
Word count: 173