Leaves of Grass (1881-82)

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AS I sit with others at a great feast, suddenly while the music is
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 going down,
Of the veil'd tableau—women gather'd together on deck, pale,
         heroic, waiting the moment that draws so close—O the
A huge sob—a few bubbles—the white foam spirting up—and
         then the women gone,
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?
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