O Captain! my Captain!

by Walt Whitman


Original Language English

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.

-- from Leaves of Grass, by Walt Whitman

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The Oxford Book of Mystical Verse Song of Myself Leaves of Grass Dead Poets Society (DVD)





O Captain! my