When I Heard at the Close of the Day


When I heard at the close of the day how my name had been received with plaudits in the
        capitol, still it was not a happy night for me that follow'd,
And else, when I carous'd, or when my plans were accomplish'd, still I was not happy,
But the day when I rose at dawn from the bed of perfect health, refresh'd, singing, inhaling
        the ripe breath of autumn,
When I saw the full moon in the west grow pale and disappear in the morning light,
When I wander'd alone over the beach, and undressing bathed, laughing with the cool
        waters, and saw the sun rise,
And when I thought how my dear friend my lover was on his way coming, O then I was
        happy,
O then each breath tasted sweeter, and all that day my food nourish'd me more, and the
        beautiful day passed well,
And the next came with equal joy, and with the next at evening came my friend,
And that night while all was still I heard the waters roll slowly continually up the shores,
I heard the hissing rustle of the liquid and sands as directed to me whispering to
        congratulate me,
For the one I love most lay sleeping by me under the same cover in the cool night,
In the stillness in the autumn moonbeams his face was inclined toward me,
And his arm lay lightly around my breast–and that night I was happy.


Walt Whitman.