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Poems
Aboard At A Ship's Helm
(31 May 1819 - 26 March 1892 / New York / United States)

Aboard At A Ship's Helm

Poem By Walt Whitman


ABOARD, at a ship's helm,
A young steersman, steering with care.

A bell through fog on a sea-coast dolefully ringing,
An ocean-bell--O a warning bell, rock'd by the waves.

O you give good notice indeed, you bell by the sea-reefs ringing,
Ringing, ringing, to warn the ship from its wreck-place.

For, as on the alert, O steersman, you mind the bell's admonition,
The bows turn,--the freighted ship, tacking, speeds away under her
gray sails,
The beautiful and noble ship, with all her precious wealth, speeds
away gaily and safe.

But O the ship, the immortal ship! O ship aboard the ship! 10
O ship of the body--ship of the soul--voyaging, voyaging, voyaging.

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Comments (2)

For, as on the alert, O steersman, you mind the bell's admonition, The bows turn, - the freighted ship, tacking, speeds away under her gray sails, The beautiful and noble ship, with all her precious wealth, speeds away gaily and safe......
My Captain, where have you gone..


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