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Unidentified Correspondent to Walt Whitman, 20 September 1890

 loc_vm.01705.jpg O death I cover you over with roses and early 
But mostly and now the lilac that blooms the 
Copius I break, I break the sprigs from the 
With loaded arms I come, pouring for you For you and the coffins all of you O death. Sea-winds blown from East and West Blown from the Eastern Sea and blown 
  from, the Western Sea, till there on the 
  prairies meeting.
These and with these I'll perfume the grave 
  of him I love
O what shall I hang on the chamber walls? And what shall the pictures be I hang 
  on the walls,
To adorn the burial house of him I love, O light and free and tender! O wild and loose to my soul—O wonderous 
  singer. You only I hear, yet this star 
  holds me, (but will soon depart)
Yet the lilac with mastering odor holds me. Sing on dearest brother warble your reedy song. Loud human song, with voice of utter–most 
Limitless out of the dusk out of the ceders​  
  and pines.

This moment yearning and thoughtful I turn back and think of that old man whom I met but once only for a few minutes, His books read and absorbed in part, his life, a part of it read of asking about of men lingers about the ferry houses, looking for a glimpse of his face at the little former house yet never seeing him, wondering eager over the names since first I saw or heard it, now learning to love the man the book and the author. I have two photographs, one in book, the other lately taken, within ten years. I look at the engraving in Leaves of Grass, at the gray in the beard at the features all absorbing and always wondering "if only he could know" everything is all light, transparent as light, yet all dark and moody and tearful I would prize above all earthly things to see you and loaf awhile and ask you so much and so many things. I wonder now if you still are the same lover of God and man unconventionally as is portrayed in Leaves of Grass.

I read not long ago in the Century a line "the vagaries of my life"2 This troubled me—is the book and its plan and purpose a vagary. All the teaching of the native inherent immortality of the soul, is this a a loc_vm.01707.jpg vagary. The Hebrew Scriptures declare so, the New Testament writings declare so. "If you love me, keep my commandments."3 If you care for me read my book. I am sorry that the People do not understand, but as yet, the people of the States have not arisen, wait for the fusion of nationalities and the type shall come forth. I hear much talk of the Lord's coming, but all things center on this our globe. I cannot understand much of these things, only of my love and affection this I am sure of. May I call my self a pupil—Dear old man you are beloved more than you can know this is the best I have and you have it. I see you there and my hearts love goes out to you to night across seas and continents, now three score years and ten and soon to be yours, if only America would listen and the young men and young women could see that ideal life: To time, this is your book's dedication

So–long with love Nagasaki, Japan To Walt Whitman Camden, New Jersey U.S.A.  loc_vm.01708.jpg


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