Walt Whitman

Here you will find the Poem Virgil Strange I Kept On The Field of poet Walt Whitman

Virgil Strange I Kept On The Field

VIGIL strange I kept on the field one night:
 When you, my son and my comrade, dropt at my side that day,
 One look I but gave, which your dear eyes return'd, with a look I
 shall never forget;
 One touch of your hand to mine, O boy, reach'd up as you lay on the
 Then onward I sped in the battle, the even-contested battle;
 Till late in the night reliev'd, to the place at last again I made my
 Found you in death so cold, dear comrade--found your body, son of
 responding kisses, (never again on earth responding;)
 Bared your face in the starlight--curious the scene--cool blew the
 moderate night-wind;
 Long there and then in vigil I stood, dimly around me the battlefield
 Vigil wondrous and vigil sweet, there in the fragrant silent
 night; 10
 But not a tear fell, not even a long-drawn sigh--Long, long I gazed;
 Then on the earth partially reclining, sat by your side, leaning my
 chin in my hands;
 Passing sweet hours, immortal and mystic hours with you, dearest
 comrade--Not a tear, not a word;
 Vigil of silence, love and death--vigil for you my son and my
 As onward silently stars aloft, eastward new ones upward stole;
 Vigil final for you, brave boy, (I could not save you, swift was your
 I faithfully loved you and cared for you living--I think we shall
 surely meet again;)
 Till at latest lingering of the night, indeed just as the dawn
 My comrade I wrapt in his blanket, envelop'd well his form,
 Folded the blanket well, tucking it carefully over head, and
 carefully under feet; 20
 And there and then, and bathed by the rising sun, my son in his
 grave, in his rude-dug grave I deposited;
 Ending my vigil strange with that--vigil of night and battlefield
 Vigil for boy of responding kisses, (never again on earth
 Vigil for comrade swiftly slain--vigil I never forget, how as day
 I rose from the chill ground, and folded my soldier well in his
 And buried him where he fell.