A sight in camp in the daybreak gray and dim,
As from my tent I emerge so early sleepless,
As slow I walk in the cool fresh air the path near by the hospital tent,
Three forms I see on stretchers lying, brought out there untended lying,
Over each the blanket spread, ample brownish woolen blanket,
Gray and heavy blanket, folding, covering all.
Curious I halt and silent stand,
Then with light fingers I from the face of the nearest the first
just lift the blanket;
Who are you elderly man so gaunt and grim, with well-gray’d hair,
and flesh all sunken about the eyes?
Who are you my dear comrade?
Then to the second I step- and who are you my child and darling?
Who are you sweet boy with cheeks yet blooming?
Then to the third- a face nor child nor old, very calm, as of
beautiful yellow-white ivory;
Young man I think I know you- I think this face is the face of the
Dead and divine and brother of all, and here again he lies.
by: Walt Whitman
(Early American Poets) (Poem of the Day)