Leaves of Grass

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Author: Walt Whitman  | Date: 1855

Come Up from the Fields Father

COME up from the fields father, here’s a letter from our Pete,

And come to the front door mother, here’s a letter from thy dear

son.

Lo, ’tis autumn,

Lo, where the trees, deeper green, yellower and redder,

Cool and sweeten Ohio’s villages with leaves fluttering in the

moderate wind,

Where apples ripe in the orchards hang and grapes on the trellis’d

vines,

(Smell you the smell of the grapes on the vines?

Smell you the buckwheat where the bees were lately buzzing?)

Above all, lo, the sky so calm, so transparent after the rain, and

with wondrous clouds,

Below too, all calm, all vital and beautiful, and the farm prospers

well.

Down in the fields all prospers well,

But now from the fields come father, come at the daughter’s call.

And come to the entry mother, to the front door come right away.

Fast as she can she hurries, something ominous, her steps

trembling,

She does not tarry to smooth her hair nor adjust her cap.

Open the envelope quickly,

O this is not our son’s writing, yet his name is sign’d,

O a strange hand writes for our dear son, O stricken mother’s soul!

All swims before her eyes, flashes with black, she catches the main

words only,

Sentences broken, gunshot wound in the breast, cavalry skirmish,

taken to hospital,

At present low, but will soon be better.

Ah now the single figure to me,

Amid all teeming and wealthy Ohio with all its cities and farms,

Sickly white in the face and dull in the head, very faint,

By the jamb of a door leans.

Grieve not so, dear mother, (the just-grown daughter speaks

through her sobs,

The little sisters huddle around speechless and dismay’d,)

See, dearest mother, the letter says Pete will soon be better.

Alas poor boy, he will never be better, (nor may-be needs to be

better, that brave and simple soul,)

While they stand at home at the door he is dead already,

The only son is dead.

But the mother needs to be better,

She with thin form presently drest in black,

By day her meals untouch’d, then at night fitfully sleeping, often

waking,

In the midnight waking, weeping, longing with one deep longing,

O that she might withdraw unnoticed, silent from life escape and

withdraw,

To follow, to seek, to be with her dear dead son.

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Chicago: Walt Whitman, "Come up from the Fields Father," Leaves of Grass in Library of the Future ® 4th Edition Ver. 5.0 (Irvine, CA: World Library, Inc., 1996), Original Sources, accessed September 25, 2018, http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=D9LDJTS59RTUN85.

MLA: Whitman, Walt. "Come up from the Fields Father." Leaves of Grass, in Library of the Future ® 4th Edition Ver. 5.0, Irvine, CA, World Library, Inc., 1996, Original Sources. 25 Sep. 2018. www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=D9LDJTS59RTUN85.

Harvard: Whitman, W, 'Come up from the Fields Father' in Leaves of Grass. cited in 1996, Library of the Future ® 4th Edition Ver. 5.0, World Library, Inc., Irvine, CA. Original Sources, retrieved 25 September 2018, from http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=D9LDJTS59RTUN85.