Books by Whitman
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THE CITY DEAD-HOUSE.
|BY the City Dead-House, by the gate,|
|As idly sauntering, wending my way from the clangor,|
|I curious pause—for lo! an outcast form, a poor dead |
|Her corpse they deposit unclaim'd, it lies on the |
damp brick pavement;
|The divine woman, her body—I see the Body—I look |
on it alone,
|That house once full of passion and beauty—all else I |
|Nor stillness so cold, nor running water from faucet,|
nor odors morbific impress me;
|But the house alone—that wondrous house—that de-|
licate fair house—that ruin!
|That immortal house, more than all the rows of dwel-|
lings ever built!
|Or white-domed Capitol itself, with magestic figure sur-|
mounted—or all the old high-spired cathedrals,
|That little house alone, more than them all—poor,|
|Fair, fearful wreck! tenement of a Soul! itself a Soul!|
|Unclaim'd, avoided house! take one breath from my |
|Take one tear, dropt aside as I go, for thought of you,|
|Dead house of love! house of madness and sin, crum-|
|House of life—erewhile talking and laughing—but |
ah, poor house! dead, even then;
|Months, years, an echoing, garnish'd house—but |
dead, dead, dead.