To A Certain Civilian

A poem by Walt Whitman

Did YOU ask dulcet rhymes from me?
Did you seek the civilian's peaceful and languishing rhymes?
Did you find what I sang erewhile so hard to follow?
Why I was not singing erewhile for you to follow, to understand nor am I now;
(I have been born of the same as the war was born;
The drum-corps' harsh rattle is to me sweet music I love well the martial dirge,
With slow wail, and convulsive throb, leading the officer's funeral:)
What to such as you, anyhow, such a poet as I? therefore leave my works,
And go lull yourself with what you can understand and with piano- tunes;
For I lull nobody and you will never understand me.

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