This Dust Was Once the Man

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"This Dust Was Once the Man" is an elegy poem by Walt Whitman in 1871. The poem is dedicated to Abraham Lincoln, the 16th President of the United States. The poem was written shortly after Lincoln's assassination. Whitman went on to write additional poetry about Lincoln: "O Captain! My Captain!", "When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom'd", and "Hush'd Be the Camps To-Day." The poem was included in Book XXII of Whitman's Leaves of Grass.[1]

The poem served as the setting for two choral works of Jeffrey Hoover.[2]

Text[edit]

This dust was once the man,
Gentle, plain, just and resolute, under whose cautious hand,
Against the foulest crime in history known in any land or age,
Was saved the Union of these States.[3]

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