Skip to main content

Justin Huntly McCarthy to Walt Whitman, 3 December 1888

 loc.03246.001_large.jpg Dear Mr. Walt Whitman

May I, here is this old Africa & very unhappy send a message to you in America who are helping me to bear my sorrow.

This dry month  loc.03246.002_large.jpg I suffered the greatest loss that a young man can suffer by the death of the girl I loved, the girl who was to have been my wife. She loved your poems dearly: she taught me who loved them too to understand them as I had never understood them before. They were among the last things we ever read together but a few weeks ago in England when my life seemed so happy & there seemed to be no shadow of the implacable  loc.03246.003_large.jpg Death. I am reading your poems now again alone & in the bitterness of my heart in this place to which I have come to struggle with my sorrow. They are helping me, they are strengthening me & I wish to send you these few words of thanks & gratitude for the sake of my dead love & my living grief. Camerado, will you give me your hand across the sea.

Justin Huntly McCarthy  loc.03246.004_large.jpg

Justin Huntly McCarthy (1859–1936) was an Irish novelist and politician. He served as a member of Parliament from 1884 to 1892.

Back to top