Home  »  Leaves of Grass  »  190. To a Certain Civilian

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

190. To a Certain Civilian

DID you ask dulcet rhymes from me?

Did you seek the civilian’s peaceful and languishing rhymes?

Did you find what I sang erewhile so hard to follow?

Why I was not singing erewhile for you to follow, to understand—nor am I now;

(I have been born of the same as the war was born;

The drum-corps’ harsh rattle is to me sweet music—I love well the martial dirge,

With slow wail, and convulsive throb, leading the officer’s funeral🙂

—What to such as you, anyhow, such a poet as I?—therefore leave my works,

And go lull yourself with what you can understand—and with piano-tunes;

For I lull nobody—and you will never understand me.