A poem by Walt Whitman
, from his Leaves of Grass
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
Three forms I see on stretchers lying, brought out there
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
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 Christ himself,
Dead and divine and brother of all, and here again he lies.