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Not from successful love alone, Nor wealth, nor honored middle age, nor vic- 
 tories of politics or war.
But as life wanes, and all the turbulent passions 
As gorgeous, vapory, silent hues cover the even- 
 ing sky,
As softness, fulness, rest, suffuse the spirit and 
  frame like freshier, balmier air;
As the days take on a mellower light, and the 
  apple at last hangs really finished and in- 
 dolent ripe on the tree,
Then for the teeming quietest, happiest days of 
The brooding and blissful halcyon days!2 Walt Whitman.


1. Reprinted in the "Sands at Seventy Annex" to Leaves of Grass (1888). [back]

2. In December 1887, another poet's "Halcyon Days" appeared in the New York Herald, though Whitman's poem and this earlier one have little but their title in common. When Whitman revised the poem for inclusion in "Sands at Seventy," he omitted the words "spirit and" in the fifth line. [back]

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