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Title: The Singing Thrush

Creator: Walt Whitman

Date: March 15, 1873

Publication information: New York Daily Graphic 15 March 1873: 2.

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

Whitman Archive ID: per.00129

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




image 1

THE SINGING THRUSH.1

———

Wandering at morn,
Emerging from the night, from the gloomy thoughts—
thee in my thoughts,
Yearning for thee, harmonious Union! thee, Singing
Bird divine!
Thee, seated coil'd in evil times, my country, with
craft and black dismay—with every meanness,
treason thrust upon thee;
—Wandering—this common marvel I beheld—the
parent thrush I watched, feeding its young,
(The singing thrush, whose tones of joy and faith
ecstatic,
Fail not to certify and cheer my soul.
There felt I, saw I,
If worms, snakes, loathsome grubs, may to sweet
spiritual songs be turn'd,
If vermin so transposed, so used, so bless'd may be,
Then may I trust in you, your States, my country;
—Who knows but these may be the lessons fit for
you?
Who knows—perhaps the diet fit to-day for you?
These, these, to-day for your preparing nest, O
Union! even from these,
From these your future song may rise, with joyous
trills,
Destin'd to fill the world.
WALT WHITMAN.
Washington, March 10.

Notes:

1. Reprinted as "Wandering at Morn" in Two Rivulets (1876). [back]


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