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Title: Old-Age Echoes

Creator: Walt Whitman

Date: March 1891

Publication information: Lippincott's Magazine 47 (March 1891): 376.

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

Whitman Archive ID: per.00140

Contributors to digital file: Elizabeth Lorang, April Lambert, Heather Morton, Brett Barney, Leslie Ianno, Ramon Guerra, and Susan Belasco




image 1

OLD-AGE ECHOES.1

BY WALT WHITMAN.

SOUNDS OF THE WINTER.

SOUNDS of the winter too,
Sunshine upon the mountains—many a distant strain
From cheery railroad train—from nearer field, barn, house,
The whispering air—even the mute crops, garner'd apples, corn,
Children's and women's tones—rhythm of many a farmer, and of flail,
An old man's garrulous lips among the rest—Think not we give out yet,
Forth from these snowy hairs we too keep up the lilt.

THE UNEXPRESS'D.

How dare one say it?
After the cycles, poems, singers, plays,
Vaunted Ionia's, India's—Homer, Shakespeare—the long, long times'
thick dotted roads, areas,
The shining clusters and the Milky Ways of stars—Nature's pulses
reap'd,
All retrospective passions, heroes, war, love, adoration,
All ages' plummets dropt to their utmost depths,
All human lives, throats, wishes, brains—all experiences' utterance;
After the countless songs, or long or short, all tongues, all lands,
Still something not yet told in poesy's voice or print—something lacking,
(Who knows? the best yet unexpress'd and lacking).

SAIL OUT FOR GOOD, EIDÓLON YACHT!

Heave the anchor short!
Raise the main-sail and jib—steer forth,
O little white-hull'd sloop, now speed on really deep waters,
(I will not call it our concluding voyage,
But outset and sure entrance to the truest, best, maturest;)
Depart, depart from solid earth—no more returning to these shores,
Now on for aye our infinite free venture wending,
Spurning all yet tried ports, seas, hawsers, densities, gravitation,
Sail out for good, eidólon yacht of me!

AFTER THE ARGUMENT.

A group of little children with their ways and chatter flow in,
Like welcome rippling water o'er my heated nerves and flesh.

Notes:

1. The four poems published as the cluster "Old Age Echoes" in Lippincott's Magazine were reprinted in Good-bye My Fancy (1891). [back]


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