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When I Heard At The Close Of The Day

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

  WHEN I heard at the close of the day how my name had been receiv'd
  with plaudits in the capitol, still it was not a happy night
  for me that follow'd;
  And else, when I carous'd, or when my plans were accomplish'd, still
  I was not happy;
  But the day when I rose at dawn from the bed of perfect health,
  refresh'd, 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 wander'd 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 nourish'd
  me more--and the beautiful day pass'd 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, 10
  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.

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

1:15 min read

Walt Whitman

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

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