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As Toilsome I Wander'd
by Walt Whitman


AS TOILSOME I wander'd Virginia's woods,
To the music of rustling leaves, kick'd by my feet, (for 'twas
autumn,)
I mark'd at the foot of a tree the grave of a soldier,
Mortally wounded he, and buried on the retreat, (easily all could I
understand;)
The halt of a mid-day hour, when up! no time to lose--yet this sign
left,
On a tablet scrawl'd and nail'd on the tree by the grave,
Bold, cautious, true, and my loving comrade.

Long, long I muse, then on my way go wandering;
Many a changeful season to follow, and many a scene of life;
Yet at times through changeful season and scene, abrupt, alone, or in
the crowded street, 10
Comes before me the unknown soldier's grave--comes the inscription
rude in Virginia's woods,
Bold, cautious, true, and my loving comrade.