Page:Leaves of Grass (1855).djvu/72

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Leaves of Grass.

The living look upon the corpse with their eyesight,
But without eyesight lingers a different living and looks curiously on the corpse.

To think that the rivers will come to flow, and the snow fall, and fruits ripen .. and act upon others as upon us now .... yet not act upon us;
To think of all these wonders of city and country .. and others taking great interest in them .. and we taking small interest in them.

To think how eager we are in building our houses,
To think others shall be just as eager .. and we quite indifferent.

I see one building the house that serves him a few years .... or seventy or eighty years at most;
I see one building the house that serves him longer than that.

Slowmoving and black lines creep over the whole earth .... they never cease ..... they are the burial lines,
He that was President was buried, and he that is now President shall surely be buried.

Cold dash of waves at the ferrywharf,
Posh and ice in the river .... half-frozen mud in the streets,
A gray discouraged sky overhead .... the short last daylight of December,
A hearse and stages .... other vehicles give place,
The funeral of an old stagedriver .... the cortege mostly drivers.

Rapid the trot to the cemetery,
Duly rattles the deathbell .... the gate is passed .... the grave is halted at .... the living alight .... the hearse uncloses,
The coffin is lowered and settled .... the whip is laid on the coffin,
The earth is swiftly shovelled in .... a minute .. no one moves or speaks .... it is done,
He is decently put away .... is there anything more?

He was a goodfellow,
Freemouthed, quicktempered, not badlooking, able to take his own part,
Witty, sensitive to a slight, ready with life or death for a friend,
Fond of women, .. played some .. eat hearty and drank hearty,
Had known what it was to be flush .. grew lowspirited toward the last .. sickened .. was helped by a contribution,
Died aged forty-one years .. and that was his funeral.

Thumb extended or finger uplifted,
Apron, cape, gloves, strap .... wetweather clothes .... whip carefully chosen .... boss, spotter, starter, and hostler,