Home  »  Leaves of Grass  »  199. Whispers of Heavenly Death

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

199. Whispers of Heavenly Death

WHISPERS of heavenly death, murmur’d I hear;

Labial gossip of night—sibilant chorals;

Footsteps gently ascending—mystical breezes, wafted soft and low;

Ripples of unseen rivers—tides of a current, flowing, forever flowing;

(Or is it the plashing of tears? the measureless waters of human tears?)

I see, just see, skyward, great cloud-masses;

Mournfully, slowly they roll, silently swelling and mixing;

With, at times, a half-dimm’d, sadden’d, far-off star,

Appearing and disappearing.

(Some parturition, rather—some solemn, immortal birth:

On the frontiers, to eyes impenetrable,

Some Soul is passing over.)