Leaves of Grass

Author: Walt Whitman  | Date: 1855

Aboard at a Ship’s Helm

ABOARD at a ship’s helm,

A young steersman steering with care.

Through fog on a sea-coast dolefully ringing,

An ocean-bell- O a warning bell, rock’d by the waves.

O you give good notice indeed, you bell by the sea-reefs ringing,

Ringing, ringing, to warn the ship from its wreck-place.

For as on the alert O steersman, you mind the loud admonition,

The bows turn, the freighted ship tacking speeds away under her gray


The beautiful and noble ship with all her precious wealth speeds

away gayly and safe.

But O the ship, the immortal ship! O ship aboard the ship!

Ship of the body, ship of the soul, voyaging, voyaging, voyaging.


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Walt Whitman

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Chicago: Walt Whitman, "Aboard at a Ship’s Helm," Leaves of Grass Original Sources, accessed July 20, 2024, http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=DKS6U5STRTA2DNZ.

MLA: Whitman, Walt. "Aboard at a Ship’s Helm." Leaves of Grass, Original Sources. 20 Jul. 2024. http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=DKS6U5STRTA2DNZ.

Harvard: Whitman, W, 'Aboard at a Ship’s Helm' in Leaves of Grass. Original Sources, retrieved 20 July 2024, from http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=DKS6U5STRTA2DNZ.