As I Ponder’d in Silence


AS I ponder’d in silence, 
Returning upon my poems, considering, lingering long, 
A Phantom arose before me, with distrustful aspect, 
Terrible in beauty, age, and power, 
The genius of poets of old lands,
As to me directing like flame its eyes, 
With finger pointing to many immortal songs, 
And menacing voice, What singest thou? it said; 
Know’st thou not, there is but one theme for ever-enduring bards? 
And that is the theme of War, the fortune of battles,
The making of perfect soldiers? 
Be it so, then I answer’d, 
I too, haughty Shade, also sing war—and a longer and greater one than
Waged in my book with varying fortune—with flight, advance, and
	retreat—Victory deferr’d and wavering, 
(Yet, methinks, certain, or as good as certain, at the last,)—The
	field the world;
For life and death—for the Body, and for the eternal Soul, 
Lo! too am come, chanting the chant of battles, 
I, above all, promote brave soldiers.


facebook share button twitter share button google plus share button tumblr share button reddit share button email share button share on pinterest pinterest

Create a library and add your favorite stories. Get started by clicking the "Add" button.
Add As I Ponder’d in Silence to your own personal library.

Return to the Walt Whitman Home Page, or . . . Read the next poem; O Captain! My Captain!

It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so.