Life & Letters


About this Item

Title: Henry J. Maywood to Walt Whitman, 14 February 1891

Date: February 14, 1891

Whitman Archive ID: loc.08271

Source: The Charles E. Feinberg Collection of the Papers of Walt Whitman, 1839–1919, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C. Transcribed from digital images or a microfilm reproduction of the original item. For a description of the editorial rationale behind our treatment of the correspondence, see our statement of editorial policy.

Contributors to digital file: Amalie Hodges, Leanne Harp, Stephanie Blalock, Marie Ernster, and Amanda J. Axley

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90 Haldon Road
London. S. W
14 February 1891

Dear Walt Whitman,

May I beg your acceptance of the following lines as a sort of valentine from one who in reading your beautiful 'Leaves' learned to love the author.

They are meant to convey the idea derived by me as to the scope and aim of the teaching of your poems. As such they are necessarily very incomplete and ineffective and it is perhaps trespassing on your good nature to trouble you with them. I feel, however, unable to withhold my tribute–feeble as it is and I can only pray you to forgive my presumption.

Reverently yours
H. J. Maywood

All things in the universe form one
in indissoluble whole,
And each infinitesimal part is énorme
and complete in itself,
And in every human being is the essence
and potence of all.
Whence: Tolerance wide as the spheres
and Love of unlimited scope,
And Brotherhood all the world o'er
and sympathy seasoned with Hope.


Henry John (H. J.) Maywood (1855–1893) was born in Poplar, Middlesex, England; he was the fourth child of Samuel and Margaret Maywood. In April 1879, Henry married Fanny Emma Strutt. According to the 1891 England Census, the couple and their two children lived in Wandsworth, and Henry worked as a Civil Service clerk.


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