The Ox tamer

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

IN a faraway northern county, in the placid, pastoral region,
   Lives my farmer friend, the theme of my recitative, a famous Tamer of
   There they bring him the three-year-olds and the four-year-olds, to
         break them;
   He will take the wildest steer in the world, and break him and tame
   He will go, fearless, without any whip, where the young bullock
         chafes up and down the yard;
   The bullock's head tosses restless high in the air, with raging eyes;
   Yet, see you! how soon his rage subsides--how soon this Tamer tames
   See you! on the farms hereabout, a hundred oxen, young and old--and
         he is the man who has tamed them;
   They all know him--all are affectionate to him;
   See you! some are such beautiful animals--so lofty looking!        10
   Some are buff color'd--some mottled--one has a white line running
         along his back--some are brindled,
   Some have wide flaring horns (a good sign)--See you! the bright
   See, the two with stars on their foreheads--See, the round bodies and
         broad backs;
   See, how straight and square they stand on their legs--See, what
         fine, sagacious eyes;
   See, how they watch their Tamer--they wish him near them--how they
         turn to look after him!
   What yearning expression! how uneasy they are when he moves away from
   --Now I marvel what it can be he appears to them, (books, politics,
         poems depart--all else departs;)
   I confess I envy only his fascination--my silent, illiterate friend,
   Whom a hundred oxen love, there in his life on farms,
   In the northern county far, in the placid, pastoral region.

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

Modified on March 05, 2023

1:20 min read

Quick analysis:

Scheme abacdeFghijFkdfllcmnkopiqfrdstuva
Closest metre Iambic hexameter
Characters 1,689
Words 266
Stanzas 1
Stanza Lengths 33

Walt Whitman

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

All Walt Whitman poems | Walt Whitman Books

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