Walt Whitman: By the Bivouac's Fitful Flame

By the Bivouac's Fitful Flame

By the bivouac's fitful flame, A procession winding around me, solemn and sweet and slow—but     first I note, The tents of the sleeping army, the fields' and woods' dim outline, The darkness lit by spots of kindled fire, the silence, Like a phantom far or near an occasional figure moving, The shrubs and trees, (as I lift my eyes they seem to be stealthily     watching me,) While wind in procession thoughts, O tender and wondrous thoughts, Of life and death, of home and the past and loved, and of those that     are far away; A solemn and slow procession there as I sit on the ground, By the bivouac's fitful flame.