On The Beach At Night, Alone

Walt Whitman 1819 (West Hills) – 1892 (Camden)

   ON the beach at night alone,
   As the old mother sways her to and fro, singing her husky song,
   As I watch the bright stars shining--I think a thought of the clef of
         the universes, and of the future.

   A VAST SIMILITUDE interlocks all,
   All spheres, grown, ungrown, small, large, suns, moons, planets,
         comets, asteroids,
   All the substances of the same, and all that is spiritual upon the
   All distances of place, however wide,
   All distances of time--all inanimate forms,
   All Souls--all living bodies, though they be ever so different, or in
         different worlds,
   All gaseous, watery, vegetable, mineral processes--the fishes, the
         brutes,                                                      10
   All men and women--me also;
   All nations, colors, barbarisms, civilizations, languages;
   All identities that have existed, or may exist, on this globe, or any
   All lives and deaths--all of the past, present, future;
   This vast similitude spans them, and always has spann'd, and shall
         forever span them, and compactly hold them, and enclose them.

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

Modified on April 11, 2023

48 sec read

Quick analysis:

Closest metre Iambic hexameter
Characters 1,132
Words 162
Stanzas 2
Stanza Lengths 4, 18

Walt Whitman

Walter "Walt" Whitman was an American poet, essayist and journalist. more…

All Walt Whitman poems | Walt Whitman Books

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