(31 May 1819 - 26 March 1892 / New York / United States)

Bivouac On A Mountain Side

I see before me now a traveling army halting,
Below a fertile valley spread, with barns and the orchards of summer,
Behind, the terraced sides of a mountain, abrupt, in places rising high,
Broken, with rocks, with clinging cedars, with tall shapes dingily seen,
The numerous camp-fires scatter'd near and far, some away up on the mountain,
The shadowy forms of men and horses, looming, large-sized, flickering,
And over all the sky--the sky! far, far out of reach, Studded, breaking out, the eternal stars.

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Comments (1)

Whitman recalls images from the Civil War, vivid and real in nighttime in the Virginia mountains.