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O Captain! My Captain!

per.00076.001 (From Walt Whitman's "Drum-Taps.")



O CAPTAIN! my captain! our fearful trip is done; The ship has weathered every rack, the prize we 
  sought is won;
The port is near, the bells I hear, the people are 
While follow eyes the steady keel, the vessel grim 
  and daring:
But O heart! heart! heart! Leave you not the little spot, Where on the deck my captain lies, Fallen cold and dead.


O captain! my captain! rise up and hear the bells; Rise up—for you the flag is flung—for you the bugle 
For you bouquets and ribbon'd wreaths—for you the 
  shores a-crowding;
For you they call, the swaying mass, their eager 
  faces turning;
O captain! dear father! This arm I push beneath you; It is some dream that on the deck, You've fallen cold and dead.


My captain does not answer, his lips are pale and 
My father does not feel my arm, he has no pulse nor 
But the ship, the ship is anchor'd safe, its voyage 
  closed and done;
From fearful trip, the victor ship, comes in with 
  object won:
Exult, O shores, and ring, O bells! But I, with silent tread, Walk the spot my captain lies, Fallen cold and dead.


1. This poem was reprinted in Sequel to Drum-Taps (1865); with revision in Passage to India (1871, 1876); and finally in "Drum-Taps," Leaves of Grass (1881–82). [back]

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