WHISPERS of heavenly death, murmur’d I hear;Update: A Seattle Times obituary for John, who I studied with in school and who attained some international notoriety for his Star Wars stunt. John was a tremendously gifted young man, and a great example of how not everyone who attends my alma mater is of a predictable type or mindset.
Labial gossip of night—sibilant chorals;
Footsteps gently ascending—mystical breezes, wafted soft and low;
Ripples of unseen rivers—tides of a current, flowing, forever flowing;
(Or is it the plashing of tears? the measureless waters of human tears?)
I see, just see, skyward, great cloud-masses;
Mournfully, slowly they roll, silently swelling and mixing;
With, at times, a half-dimm’d, sadden’d, far-off star,
Appearing and disappearing.
(Some parturition, rather—some solemn, immortal birth:
On the frontiers, to eyes impenetrable,
Some Soul is passing over.)
- Walt Whitman, "Whispers of Heavenly Death"