Hush’d Be the Camps To-Day
by Walt Whitman
(May 4, 1865)
Hush’d be the camps to-day,
And soldiers let us drape our war-worn weapons,
And each with musing soul retire to celebrate,
Our dear commander’s death.
No more for him life’s stormy conflicts,
Nor victory, nor defeat—no more time’s dark events,
Charging like ceaseless clouds across the sky.
But sing poet in our name,
Sing of the love we bore him—because you, dweller in camps, know it truly.
As they invault the coffin there,
Sing—as they close the doors of earth upon him—one verse,
For the heavy hearts of soldiers.
“Hush’d Be the Camps To-Day” is a poem by Walt Whitman commemorating the death of President Abraham Lincoln. The poem was written on April 19, 1865, shortly after Lincoln’s assassination. Whitman went on to write additional poetry about Lincoln: “O Captain! My Captain!“, “When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom’d“, and “This Dust Was Once the Man.”