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Title: The Final Lilt of Songs

Creator: Walt Whitman

Date: April 16, 1888

Publication information: New York Herald 16 April 1888: 4.

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

Whitman Archive ID: per.00084

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




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THE FINAL LILT OF SONGS.1

[WRITTEN FOR THE HERALD.]

To get the final lilt of songs,
To penetrate the inmost lore of poets—to know
the mighty ones,
Job, Homer, Eschylus, Dante, Shakespeare,
Tennyson, Emerson;
To diagnose the shifting delicate tints of love
and pride and doubt—to truly understand,
To encompass these, the last keen faculty and
entrance price,
Old age, and what it brings from all its past ex-
periences.
WALT WHITMAN.

Notes:

1. Reprinted as "To Get the Final Lilt of Songs" in the "Sands at Seventy" annex to Leaves of Grass (1888). [back]


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