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Title: The Dead Emperor

Creator: Walt Whitman

Date: March 10, 1888

Publication information: New York Herald 10 March 1888: 6.

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

Whitman Archive ID: per.00113

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




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THE DEAD EMPEROR.1

[BY TELEGRAPH TO THE NEW YORK HERALD.]

To-day, with bending head and eyes, thou, too,
Columbia,
Less for the mighty crown laid low in sorrow—
less for the Emperor,
Thy true condolence breathest, sendest out o'er
many a salt sea mile,
Mourning a good old man—a faithful shepherd,
patriot.2
WALT WHITMAN.
CAMDEN, N. J., March 9, 1888

Notes:

1. Reprinted in the "Sands at Seventy" annex to Leaves of Grass (1888). [back]

2. The New York Herald had been following the tenuous health of Emperor William I of Germany and that of his son, Crown Prince Frederick William (who was thought to have cancer), throughout the first months of 1888. The paper had even run several pages in German, as the Emperor's death became more imminent. William I died late in the day on 9 March 1888, and the Herald of 10 March contained details of his final hours as well as Whitman's poem. [back]


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