Commentary

Disciples


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Sunday, September 7, 1890

     9:50 A.M. Had only a short talk with W. He returned me Bucke's article, commenting on its interest but confessing that he did not remember Julia Ady's paper on Millet which was the basis of the Doctor's argument.

     Ingersoll's North American Review paper on "The Kreutzer Sonata" was in the Press this morning. W. gave it to me, saying, "I guess you'd better have it: I was going to send it to Sarrazin but something else will do for that." He had "enjoyed" it.


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     Said he had been "interested" in George Horton's poem in the Chicago Herald on Walt Whitman (reprinted in yesterday's Press), but who was George Horton? "It is very good, too, of its kind, I thought: obviously printed there with several typographical errors."

     Told him of Bush's acknowledgment of the book, to which he was "much attracted" and he added, "to the man himself."




Walt Whitman
George Horton in the Chicago Herald
An old man I once saw,
Bowed low was he with time,
Heart-frosted, white with rime,
Ready and ripe to die.

Upon a cliff he stood
Above the sea's unrest;
His beard broke on his breast
In venerable flood.

And suddenly there came
From far, with airy tread,
A maiden round whose head
There burned a wreath of flame.

Ah God! But she was fair!
To look were to disdain
All other joy and pain,
And love her to despair.

"I come," she cried, in tone
Like sweetest siren song,
"Though I have tarried long,
I come, my own, my own!"

"See love, 'tis love compels,
Those kisses, priceless rare;
Come, let me crown thy hair
With wreathed immortelles."

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The old man answered her;
His voice was like the sea:
"Comest to mock at me?
Mine eyes are all ablur.

"Thou art too late; in sooth
Naught earthly makes me glad;
Where wert thou in my mad,
My eager, fiery youth?"

"Nay, grieve not thine," she said,
"For I have loved full oft,
And at my lovers scoffed,
Alive to woo them dead."

"Oh, fiend!" I cried, "for shame!"
Yielding to wrath's surprise.
She turned, I knew the eyes
And siren face of Fame.



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