Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, CAMPS OF GREEN, by WALT WHITMAN



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CAMPS OF GREEN, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Not alone those camps of white, old comrades of wars
Last Line: Nor drummer to beat the morning drum.
Subject(s): American Civil War; United States - History


Not alone those camps of white, old comrades of the wars,
When as order'd forward, after a long march,
Footsore and weary, soon as the light lessens we halt for the night,
Some of us so fatigued carrying the gun and knapsack,
dropping asleep in our tracks,
Others pitching the little tents, and the fires lit up
begin to sparkle,
Outposts of pickets posted surrounding alert through the dark,
And a word provided for countersign, careful for safety,
Till to the call of the drummers at daybreak loudly beating the drums,
We rise up refresh'd, the night and sleep pass'd over, and
resume our journey,
Or proceed to battle.

Lo, the camps of the tents of green,
Which the days of peace keep filling, and the days of war
keep filling,
With a mystic army, (is it too order'd forward? is it too
only halting awhile,
Till night and sleep pass over?)

Now in those camps of green, in their tents dotting the world,
In the parents, children, husbands, wives, in them, in the
old and young,
Sleeping under the sunlight, sleeping under the moonlight,
content and silent there at last,
Behold the mighty bivouac-field and waiting-camp of all,
Of the corps and generals all, and the President over the
corps and generals all,
And of each of us O soldiers, and of each and all in the
ranks we fought,
(There without hatred we all, all meet.)

For presently O soldiers, we too camp in our place in the
bivouaccamps of green,
But we need not provide for outposts, nor word for the counter-sign,
Nor drummer to beat the morning drum.





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