Saturday, May 29, 2010

"O Captain! My Captain!" - A Poem By Walt Whitman - The Star Spangled Banner - The Hiillbilly Report

In Honor of Memorial Day...
And, Walt Whitman's 191st Birthday (Born: May 31, 1819)

O Captain! My Captain! by Walt Whitman

Written on the occasion Abraham Lincoln's assassination, O Captain! My Captain! was first published in the New York Saturday Press (November 1865) and was later included, along with When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom'd, in a group of poems titled Sequel to Drum Taps (1865). While When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom'd has become one of Whitman's most critically acclaimed poems, O Captain! My Captain!, which incorporates more conventional rhyme and meter, was by far the most popular of Whitman's poems during his lifetime...

"O Captain! My Captain!"

O Captain my Captain! our fearful trip is done;
The ship has weather'd every rack, the prize we sought is won;
The port is near, the bells I hear, the people all exulting,
While follow eyes the steady keel, the vessel grim and daring:

But O heart! heart! heart!
O the bleeding drops of red,
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 trills;
For you bouquets and ribbon'd wreaths—for you the shores a-crowding;
For you they call, the swaying mass, their eager faces turning;
Here Captain! dear father!
This arm beneath your head;
It is some dream that on the deck,
You've fallen cold and dead.

My Captain does not answer, his lips are pale and still;
My father does not feel my arm, he has no pulse nor will;
The ship is anchor'd safe and sound, 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 mournful tread,
Walk the deck my Captain lies,
Fallen cold and dead.