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Title: As the Greek's Signal Flame

Creator: Walt Whitman

Date: December 15, 1887

Publication information: New York Herald 15 December 1887: 3.

Source: Our transcription is based on a digital image of a microfilm copy of an original issue.

Whitman Archive ID: per.00080

Contributors to digital file: Elizabeth Lorang, April Lambert, and Susan Belasco




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WALT WHITMAN'S PRAISE.

HE DEDICATES A POEM TO HIS FRIEND, SPECIALLY WRITTEN FOR THE HERALD.

AS THE GREEKS SIGNAL FLAME.1

[For Whittier's Eightieth Birthday, December 17, 1887.]

As the Greek's signal flame, by antique records told
(Tally of many a hard strain'd battle, struggle,
year—triumphant only at the last),2
Rose from the hilltop, like applause and glory,
Welcoming in fame some special veteran, hero,
With rosy tinge reddening the land he'd served,
So I aloft from Mannahatta's ship fringed shore,
Lift high a kindled brand for thee, Old Poet.
WALT WHITMAN.

Notes:

1. Reprinted in the Boston Daily Advertiser (17 December 1887); Munyon's Illustrated World (January 1888); and then in the "Sands at Seventy" annex to Leaves of Grass (1888). [back]

2. The "Sands at Seventy" printing of the poem omits the second line. [back]


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