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O Captain! My Captain!

O Captain! My Captain! is an extended metaphor poem written in 1865 by Walt Whitman, concerning the death of American president Abraham Lincoln.

Walt Whitman wrote the poem after Abraham Lincoln's assassination. Repeated metaphorical reference is made to this issue throughout the verse. The "ship" spoken of is intended to represent the United States of America, while its "fearful trip" recalls the troubles of the American Civil War. The titular "Captain" is Lincoln himself.

Bruce Wayne is fond of the poem, most presumably due to how it can reflect his own crusade and how he sometimes envisions it ending for him. During Thomas Elliot's faux-funeral, Bruce recited the poem as a final farewell to his childhood friend.
Ironically, Selina Kyle, one of Bruce's love interests, is not so fond of the poem presumably due to how it promotes pointless, self-sacrificial behaviour.


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.

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