Hours continuing long, sore and heavy-hearted,
Hours of the dusk, when I withdraw to a lonesome and
unfrequented spot, seating myself, leaning my face in my
Hours sleepless, deep in the night, when I go forth, speeding
swiftly the country roads, or through the city streets, or
pacing miles and miles, stifling plaintive cries;
Hours discouraged, distracted — for the one I cannot content
myself without, soon I saw him content himself without
Hours when I'm forgotten, (O weeks and months are passing,
but I believe I am never to forget !)
Sullen and suffering hours ! (I am ashamed — but it is useless
— I am what I am;)
Hours of my torment — I wonder if other men ever have the
like, out of the like feelings ?
Is there even one other like me — distracted — his friend, his
lover, lost to him ?
Is he too as I am now ? Does he still rise in the morning,
dejected, thinking who is lost to him ? and at night,
awaking, think who is lost ?
Does he too harbor his friendship silent and endless ? harbor
his anguish and passion ?
Does some stray reminder, or the casual mention of a name,
bring the fit back upon him, taciturn and deprest ?
Does he see himself reflected in me ? In these hours, does he
see the face of his hours reflected ?
Ce poème avait été ajouté aux Leaves of Grass en 1860, mais fut l'un des trois seuls que Walt Whitman a retirés de son recueil. Trop intime sans doute, et proposant une soudaine mise en doute du lien intime de tous avec tous. A mettre en balance avec "Whoever you are holding me now in hand" ou avec "Of the terrible doubt of appearances".