Verse > Walt Whitman > Leaves of Grass
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Walt Whitman (1819–1892).  Leaves of Grass.  1900.

193. O Captain! My Captain!


1

O CAPTAIN! my Captain! our fearful trip is done;
 
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!         5
      O the bleeding drops of red, 
        Where on the deck my Captain lies, 
          Fallen cold and dead. 
  
2

O Captain! my Captain! rise up and hear the bells;
 
Rise up—for you the flag is flung—for you the bugle trills;  10
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,  15
          You’ve fallen cold and dead. 
  
3

My Captain does not answer, his lips are pale and still;
 
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;  20
    Exult, O shores, and ring, O bells! 
      But I, with mournful tread, 
        Walk the deck my Captain lies, 
          Fallen cold and dead. 


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