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

322. Bathed in War’s Perfume

BATHED in war’s perfume—delicate flag!

(Should the days needing armies, needing fleets, come again,)

O to hear you call the sailors and the soldiers! flag like a beautiful woman!

O to hear the tramp, tramp, of a million answering men! O the ships they arm with joy!

O to see you leap and beckon from the tall masts of ships!

O to see you peering down on the sailors on the decks!

Flag like the eyes of women.