Monday Morning Whitman – in honor of Abraham Lincoln

As today is Presidents’ Day in the United States, I am sharing an excerpt from Whitman’s poem “Memories of President Lincoln” from his Leaves of Grass, courtesy of Project Gutenberg. This brings tear to my eyes and I think it’s my favorite Whitman poem so far.

 Coffin that passes through lanes and streets,
  Through day and night with the great cloud darkening the land,
  With the pomp of the inloop’d flags with the cities draped in black,
  With the show of the States themselves as of crape-veil’d women standing,
  With processions long and winding and the flambeaus of the night,
  With the countless torches lit, with the silent sea of faces and the
      unbared heads,
  With the waiting depot, the arriving coffin, and the sombre faces,
  With dirges through the night, with the thousand voices rising strong
      and solemn,
  With all the mournful voices of the dirges pour’d around the coffin,
  The dim-lit churches and the shuddering organs—where amid these
      you journey,
  With the tolling tolling bells’ perpetual clang,
  Here, coffin that slowly passes,
  I give you my sprig of lilac.

Closeup of lilacs

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