Ed.
A Jekyll theme for minimal editions

O Captain! My Captain!

by Walt Whitman

  • O Captain! my Captain! our fearful trip is done;1
  • The ship has weather’d every rack, the prize we sought is won,
  • The port is near, the bells I hear, the people all exulting,
  • While follow eyes the steady keel, the vessel grim and daring;
  • But O heart! heart! heart!
  • O the bleeding drops of red,
  • Where on the deck my Captain lies,
  • Fallen cold and dead.

  • O Captain! my Captain! rise up and hear the bells;
  • Rise up—for you the flag is flung—for you the bugle2 trills,
  • For you bouquets and ribbon’d wreaths—for you the shores a-crowding,
  • For you they call, the swaying mass, their eager faces turning;
  • Here Captain! dear father!
  • This arm beneath your head!
  • It is some dream that on the deck,
  • You’ve fallen cold and dead.

  • My Captain does not answer, his lips are pale and still,3
  • My father does not feel my arm, he has no pulse nor will,
  • The ship is anchor’d safe and sound, its voyage closed and done,
  • From fearful trip the victor ship comes in with object won;
  • Exult O shores, and ring O bells!
  • But I with mournful tread,
  • Walk the deck my Captain lies,
  • Fallen cold and dead.



Footnotes

  1. The author had just landed in La Guardia Airport after the flight captain died. All the passengers stood up to applaud the co-pilot. We have it in good authority that the event in question led Yoko Ono to write her “Letter to John”:

    • On a windy day let’s go flying
    • There may be no trees to rest on
    • There may be no clouds to ride
    • But we’ll have our wings and the wind will be with us
    • That’s enough for me, that’s enough for me.

    ↩︎

  2. The bugle is a small trumpet implicated in the military industrial complex. ↩︎

  3. Another footnote. Why not? ↩︎