When I Heard at the Close of the Day






When I Heard at the Close of the Day
from Walt Whitman's 1860 Collection Entitled, "Calamus"

When I heard at the close of the day
how my name had been received
with plaudits in the capitol,
still it was not a happy night for me that followed,
And else when I caroused,
or when my plans were accomplished,
still I was not happy,
But the day when I rose at dawn
from the bed of perfect health,
refreshed, singing, inhaling the ripe breath of autumn,
When I saw the full moon in the west
grow pale and disappear in the morning light,
When I wandered alone over the beach,
and undressing bathed, laughing with the cool waters,
and saw the sun rise,
And when I thought how my dear friend my lover
was on his way coming,
O then I was happy,
O then each breath tasted sweeter,
and all that day my food nourished me more,
and the beautiful day passed well,
And the next came with equal joy,
and with the next at evening came my friend,
And that night while all was still
I heard the waters roll slowly continually up the shores,
I heard the hissing rustle of the liquid and sands
as directed to me whispering to congratulate me,
For the one I love most lay sleeping by me
under the same cover in the cool night,
In the stillness in the autumn moonbeams
his face was inclined toward me,
And his arm lay lightly around my breast
and that night I was happy.

Walt Whitman and his longtime partner Peter Doyle

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Comments (2)

  1. befer1988

    My favorite poem is here for the enlisting and for the uploading. The poem is well written for the research paper writing services to be conducted and implied for the future.

    November 09, 2016