by Walt Whitman
AS I sit with others, at a great feast, suddenly, while the music is
To my mind, (whence it comes I know not,) spectral, in mist, of a
wreck at sea;
Of certain ships--how they sail from port with flying streamers, and
wafted kisses--and that is the last of them!
Of the solemn and murky mystery about the fate of the President;
Of the flower of the marine science of fifty generations, founder'd
off the Northeast coast, and going down--Of the steamship
Arctic going down,
Of the veil'd tableau--Women gather'd together on deck, pale, heroic,
waiting the moment that draws so close--O the moment!
A huge sob--A few bubbles--the white foam spirting up--And then the
Sinking there, while the passionless wet flows on--And I now
pondering, Are those women indeed gone?
Are Souls drown'd and destroy'd so?
Is only matter triumphant? 10