A Sight In Camp In The Daybreak

Walt Whitman

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A sight in camp in the daybreak gray and dim,
As from my tent I emerge so early sleepless,
As slow I walk in the cool fresh air the path near by the hospital tent,
Three forms I see on stretchers lying, brought out there untended lying,
Over each the blanket spread, ample brownish woolen blanket,
Gray and heavy blanket, folding, covering all.

Curious I halt and silent stand,
Then with light fingers I from the face of the nearest the first just lift the blanket;
Who are you elderly man so gaunt and grim, with well-gray'd hair, and flesh all sunken
about the eyes?
Who are you my dear comrade?

Then to the second I step--and who are you my child and darling?
Who are you sweet boy with cheeks yet blooming?

Then to the third--a face nor child nor old, very calm, as of beautiful yellow-white ivory;
Young man I think I know you--I think this face is the face of Christ himself,
Dead and divine and brother of all, and here again he lies.

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