Walt Whitman: To a Certain Civilian

To a Certain Civilian

Did you ask dulcet rhymes from me? Did you seek the civilian's peaceful and languishing rhymes? Did you find what I sang erewhile so hard to follow? Why I was not singing erewhile for you to follow, to understand—nor     am I now; (I have been born of the same as the war was born, The drum-corps' rattle is ever to me sweet music, I love well the     martial dirge, With slow wail and convulsive throb leading the officer's funeral;) What to such as you anyhow such a poet as I? therefore leave my works, And go lull yourself with what you can understand, and with piano-tunes, For I lull nobody, and you will never understand me.