Ethiopia Saluting the Colors. by Walt Whitman
WHO are you, dusky woman, so ancient, hardly human,
With your woolly-white and turbanâ€™d head, and bare bony feet?
Why, rising by the roadside here, do you the colors greet?
(â€™Tis while our army lines Carolinaâ€™s sand and pines,
Forth from thy hovel door, thou, Ethiopia, comâ€™st to me,
As, under doughty Sherman, I march toward the sea.)
Me, master, years a hundred, since from my parents sunderâ€™d,
A little child, they caught me as the savage beast is caught;
Then hither me, across the sea, the cruel slaver brought.
No further does she say, but lingering all the day,
Her high-borne turbanâ€™d head she wags, and rolls her darkling eye,
And curtseys to the regiments, the guidons moving by.
What is it, fateful womanâ€”so blear, hardly human?
Why wag your head, with turban boundâ€”yellow, red and green?
Are the things so strange and marvelous, you see or have seen?