The sacred knowledge of death Print
By Walt Whitman   
Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Now while I sat in the day, and look’d forth,   
In the close of the day, with its light, and the fields of spring,
   and the farmer preparing his crops,
In the large unconscious scenery of my land, with its lakes and
   forests,   
In the heavenly aerial beauty, (after the perturb’d winds, and the
   storms;)   
Under the arching heavens of the afternoon swift passing, and the
   voices of children and women,   
The many-moving sea-tides, – and I saw the ships how they sail’d,   
And the summer approaching with richness, and the fields all busy
   with labor,
And the infinite separate houses, how they all went on, each with its
   meals and minutia of daily usages;   
And the streets, how their throbbings throbbd, and the cities
   pent – lo! then and there,   
Falling upon them all, and among them all, enveloping me with the
   rest,   
Appear’d the cloud, appear’d the long black trail;   
And I knew Death, its thought, and the sacred knowledge of death.
 

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