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Sea Captain

O Captain! my Captain! our fearful trip is done,
The ship has weathered 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,
For you bouquets and ribboned 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 anchored safe and sound, its voyage closed and done,
From fearful trip the victor ship comes in with object won;
Exult, O shores, and ring O bells!
But I, with mournful tread,
Walk the deck my Captain lies,
Fallen cold and dead.

Walt Whitman (1819-1892)

This little sea captain was the first thing I ever carved.  I sat down with a small carving knife kit and went to work on the end of a pine 2 x 4. After traveling around with me for more than 10 years I decided to give him a coat of paint.  He has always encapsulated more meaning than just being my first carving, he represented a different time in my life.  I carved him in High School, still inspired by the Walt Whitman poem I had memorized for class in 6th grade. He has stood as a monument to those times and those friends.