[Aye, well I know 'tis ghastly to descend]
|Aye, well I know 'tis ghastly to descend|
| that f valley:|
|Preachers, musicians, poets, painters, always render it,|
|Philosophs exploit—the battle‑field, the ship at|
| sea, the myriad beds, all lands,|
|All, all the past have enter'd, the ancientest|
| humanity we know,|
|Syria's, India's, Egypt's, Greece's, Rome's;|
|Till now for us under our very eyes spreading|
| the same to‑day,|
|Grim, ready ^|for our eyes,
for entrance, yours and mine, ^ our eyes,
|Here, here 'tis limned.|
- This manuscript was probably composed in 1889, shortly after Whitman received a request from H. M. Alden, editor of Harper's, to write a poem to accompany a painting by George Inness entitled "The Valley of the Shadow of Death."
- Editorial note
- This manuscript is a rejected linegroup from the poem "Death's Valley," which was published first in Harper's New Monthly Magazine in April, 1892.
- Death's Valley 1889 A.Ms drafts | The Charles E. Feinberg Collection of the Papers of Walt Whitman, Library of Congress, Washington, DC.
- Whitman Archive ID