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Virgil Strange I Kept On The Field Analysis



Author: Poetry of Walt Whitman Type: Poetry Views: 853

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VIGIL strange I kept on the field one night:

When you, my son and my comrade, dropt at my side that day,

One look I but gave, which your dear eyes return'd, with a look I

shall never forget;

One touch of your hand to mine, O boy, reach'd up as you lay on the

ground;

Then onward I sped in the battle, the even-contested battle;

Till late in the night reliev'd, to the place at last again I made my

way;

Found you in death so cold, dear comrade--found your body, son of

responding kisses, (never again on earth responding;)

Bared your face in the starlight--curious the scene--cool blew the

moderate night-wind;

Long there and then in vigil I stood, dimly around me the battlefield

spreading;

Vigil wondrous and vigil sweet, there in the fragrant silent

night;10

But not a tear fell, not even a long-drawn sigh--Long, long I gazed;

Then on the earth partially reclining, sat by your side, leaning my

chin in my hands;

Passing sweet hours, immortal and mystic hours with you, dearest

comrade--Not a tear, not a word;

Vigil of silence, love and death--vigil for you my son and my

soldier,

As onward silently stars aloft, eastward new ones upward stole;

Vigil final for you, brave boy, (I could not save you, swift was your

death,

I faithfully loved you and cared for you living--I think we shall

surely meet again;)

Till at latest lingering of the night, indeed just as the dawn

appear'd,

My comrade I wrapt in his blanket, envelop'd well his form,

Folded the blanket well, tucking it carefully over head, and

carefully under feet;20

And there and then, and bathed by the rising sun, my son in his

grave, in his rude-dug grave I deposited;

Ending my vigil strange with that--vigil of night and battlefield

dim;

Vigil for boy of responding kisses, (never again on earth

responding;)

Vigil for comrade swiftly slain--vigil I never forget, how as day

brighten'd,

I rose from the chill ground, and folded my soldier well in his

blanket,

And buried him where he fell.





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||| Analysis | Critique | Overview Below |||

.: :.

I think this poem resembles Oh, Captain, my Captain. The speaker mourns his \"comrade\", \"son\", \"boy\" and takes a while to accept his death. The speaker is very close to the fallen soldier and uses a vigil to honor his death but has trouble showing emotion since he is after all a warrior and has probably watched many of his other close companions die. Whitman is trying to use this poem to show how war destroys and hollows out the warriors

| Posted on 2013-02-17 | by a guest


.: :.

I'm thinking that the father in this poem could be an actual father, a guardian-like figure, a general-like person in charge of the dead boy, or even God since many people call God the Heavenly Father.

| Posted on 2009-02-02 | by a guest




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