Document from Nov. 4, 1865

"Oh Captain, My Captain"

  • Full Title

    "Oh Captain, My Captain"

  • Description

    The noted poet Walt Whitman composed this poem in memory of Lincoln shortly after his assassination.

  • Transcription

    I.
    O CAPTAIN! my captain! our fearful trip is done;
    The ship has weathered every rack, the prize we sought is won;
    The port is near, the bells I hear, the people are exulting,
    While follow eyes the steady keel, the vessel grim and daring:
    But O heart! heart! heart!
    Leave you not the little spot,
    Where on the deck my captain lies,
    Fallen cold and dead.

    II.
    O captain! my captain! rise up and hear the bells;
    Rise up—for you the flag is flung—for you the bugle trills;
    For you bouquets and ribbon'd wreaths—for you the shores a-crowding;
    For you they call, the swaying mass, their eager faces turning;
    O captain! dear father!
    This arm I push beneath you;
    It is some dream that on the deck,
    You've fallen cold and dead.

    III.
    My captain does not answer, his lips are pale and still;
    My father does not feel my arm, he has no pulse nor will:
    But the ship, the ship is anchor'd safe, its voyage closed and done;
    From fearful trip, the victor ship, comes in with object won:
    Exult, O shores, and ring, O bells!
    But I, with silent tread,
    Walk the spot my captain lies,
    Fallen cold and dead.

  • Source

    Walt Whitman Archive

  • Rights

    This item may be reproduced and used for any purpose, including research, teaching, private study, publication, broadcast or commercial use, with proper citation and attribution.

  • Tags

  • Cite this Item

    Whitman, Walt. ""Oh Captain, My Captain"". New-York Saturday Press. Remembering Lincoln. Web. Accessed September 23, 2017. http://rememberinglincoln.fords.org/node/517