A Sight in Camp

by Walt Whitman

A Sight in camp in the day-break grey 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 woollen blanket, Grey 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-grey'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 of yours is the face of the Christ himself; Dead and divine, and brother of all, and here again he lies.