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

Look Down, Fair Moon


LOOK down, fair moon, and bathe this scene;
Pour softly down night's nimbus floods, on faces ghastly, swollen,
purple;
On the dead, on their backs, with their arms toss'd wide,
Pour down your unstinted nimbus, sacred moon.

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Comments (2)

Jane: I read Whitman’s intention here as ironic. Nature is indifferent to man’s inhumanity to man, disguising and making bearable even the most dreadful of sights.
This short poem is symbolic - the dead, lying out in the open (presumably from the Civil War) , surely deserve honor and illumination by the eternal moon.