A poem by Walt Whitman
, from his Leaves of Grass
. This short and humble piece is the last of the "Memories of President Lincoln
" section, which it inhabits along with its more famous brothers O Captain! My Captain!
and When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom'd
. Unlike the others in that section, this was written in 1871, some 5 years after Lincoln's death
- some of the heartbroken grief
of those earlier is here displaced by calm admiration.
This dust was once the man,
Gentle, plain, just and resolute, under whose cautious hand,
Against the foulest crime in history known in any land or age,
Was saved the Union of these States.