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O CAPTAIN! my Captain! our fearful trip is done;
The ship has weather’d every rack, the prize we sought is won;
The port is near, the bells I hear, the people all exulting,
While follow eyes the steady keel, the vessel grim and daring:
But O heart! heart! heart!
O the bleeding drops of red,
Where on the deck my Captain lies,
Fallen cold and dead.

O Captain! my Captain! rise up and hear the bells;
Rise up- for you the flag is flung- for you the bugle trills; 10
For you bouquets and ribbon’d wreaths- for you the shores a-crowding;
For you they call, the swaying mass, their eager faces turning;
Here Captain! dear father!
This arm beneath your head;
It is some dream that on the deck,
You’ve fallen cold and dead.

My Captain does not answer, his lips are pale and still;
My father does not feel my arm, he has no pulse nor will;
The ship is anchor’d safe and sound, its voyage closed and done;
From fearful trip, the victor ship, comes in with object won; 20
Exult, O shores, and ring, O bells!
But I, with mournful tread,
Walk the deck my Captain lies,
Fallen cold and dead.

Short Poem Analysis

"O Captain! My Captain!" by Walt Whitman is a powerful poem that reflects on the loss of a great leader. The poem was written as a tribute to President Abraham Lincoln and is considered one of Whitman's most famous works. The poem employs vivid imagery and metaphors to describe the emotions felt after the loss of a revered leader. The use of the ship as a metaphor for the nation highlights the idea of the ship of state, and the idea that the nation's course depends on its captain. The repetition of the line "O Captain! My Captain!" underscores the sense of loss and grief felt by the speaker. Overall, the poem is a poignant reflection on loss, death, and mourning and serves as a powerful reminder of the impact that great leaders can have on our lives.

O Captain! My Captain!
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