by Walt Whitman (1819 - 1892)

A sight in camp in the daybreak grey and...
Language: English 
A sight in camp in the daybreak grey and dim,
As from my tent I emerge so early, sleepless,
As slow I walk in the cool fresh air
the path near by the hospital tent,
Three forms I see on stretchers lying,
brought out there untended lying,
Over each the blanket spread,
ample brownish woollen blanket,
Grey and heavy blanket, folding, covering all.
Curious I halt and silent stand,
Then with light fingers I
from the face of the nearest,
the first, just lift the blanket;
Who are you, elderly man so gaunt and grim,
with well-grey'd hair, and flesh all sunken about the eyes?
Who are you my dear comrade?
Then to the second I step -
and who are you my child and darling?
Who are you sweet boy with cheeks yet blooming?
Then to the third - a face nor child nor old,
very calm, as of beautiful yellow-white ivory;
Young man I think I know you -
I think this face is the face of Christ Himself,
Dead and divine and brother of all,
and here again He lies.

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Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 25
Word count: 183