I Saw the Vision of Armies

HARVEST OF DEATH…continuing on with the Joan Baez album Baptism. Here’s the second cut.

I Saw The Vision Of Armies
Walt Whitman

18

I saw the vision of armies;
And I saw, as in noiseless dreams, hundred of battle-flags;
Borne through the smoke of the battles, and pierc’d with missiles,
I saw them.
And carried hither and yon through the smoke, and torn and bloody;
And at last but a few shreds of the flags left on the staffs
(and all in silence),
And the staffs all splinter’d and broken.

I saw the battle-corpses, myriads of them,
And the white skeletons of young men–I saw them;
I saw the debris, and debris of all dead soldiers;
But I saw they were not as was thought;
They themselves were fully at rest, they suffer’d not;
The living remain’d and suffer’d–the mother suffer’d
And the wife and the child, and the musing comrade suffer’d
And the armies that remained suffer’d.

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