"I was there"
di Walt Whitman (1819-1892)

I understand the large hearts of heroes,
The courage of present times and all times;
How the skipper saw the crowded and rudderless
wreck of the steam-ship, and Death chasing it up and down the storm;
How he knuckled tight, and gave not back one inch,
and was faithful of days and faithful of nights,
And chalkd in large letters, on a board,
Be of good cheer, we will not desert you:
How he followd with them, and tackd with them -
and would not give it up;
How he saved the drifting company at last:
How the lank loose-gownd women lookd when
boated from the side of their prepared graves;
How the silent old-faced infants, and the lifted
sick, and the sharp-lippd unshaved men:
All this I swallow - it tastes good - I like it
well - it becomes mine;
I am the man - I sufferd - I was there.