In Whitman's Hand


About this Item

Title: Even now Jasmund

Creators: Walt Whitman, Unknown

Date: 1850s

Whitman Archive ID: duk.00194

Source: Trent Collection of Whitmaniana, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University. Transcribed from digital images of the original item.Whitman notes "early in '57" For a description of the editorial rationale behind our treatment of the marginalia and annotations, see our statement of editorial policy.

Editorial note: The paste-on attached to the back of this leaf is part of "Poems of Ossian," by James Macpherson, in Fourth Reader: For Common Schools and Academies, ed. Henry Mandeville (D. Appleton & Co., 1851), 255. Whitman also references September of 1856 and "early in '57" in his notes, suggesting that his annotations are from the mid to late 1850s.

Notes written on manuscript: On surface 1, in an unknown hand: "5"

Contributors to digital file: Lauren Grewe, Nicole Gray, Ty Alyea, and Matt Cohen


Paste-on | Whitman's Notes on Paste-on | Whitman's Highlighting on Paste-on | Erasure | Overwrite

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*☟—"Even now Jasmund, the people's poet, prefers to sing in Provençal." De Vere's Comparative Philology 1853.

Pythagoras was very beautiful, and lived to a great age.—He was of atheletic tastes, a boxer, a dancer, wrestler, runner, &c.—He delighted in music and dancing perfumes——wore his beard long,

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Sept. '56

"Leaves of Grass" must be called not objective, but altogether subjective"I know" runs through them all, like as a perpetual refrain

Yet the great Greek poems, and also the Teutonic poems, also Skakespeare and all the great masters' have been objective ^epic—they have described characters, events, wars, heroes &c—


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*A grand fête has just been celebrated at Agen, France, on the occasion of the presentation of a crown of gold to the poet JASMIN, by his townsmen. The ceremony was attended by the bishop, the perfect of the department, and other civil and military dignitaries. JASMIN recited some new verses of his composition, and terminated an address of thanks by making an appeal to the company present on behalf of the poor, which produced a subscription of 500 francs. The golden crown thus given, will be placed beside the gold branch of Toulouse, the cup of Auch, and other valuable presents, which ornament the humble dwelling of the poet, who still continues to carry on the trade of a hairdresser.

                                                                                       ' early in '57

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Jas Macpherson 1737—1796


Ossian, (put down at 300 or 400 B. C.The real Ossian, if ever there were one is put down at 300 or 400 B C)

Ossian bosky shield—? wood wooden shield

☞ very likely a myth altogether

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1 O THOU that rollest above, round as the shield of my fathers! whence are thy beams, O Sun! thy everlasting light?
2 Thou comest forth in thy awful beauty, and the stars hide themselves in the sky: the moon, cold and pale, sinks in the
3 western wave. But thou thyself movest alone: who can be
4 a companion of thy course? The oaks of the mountains fall´; the mountains themselves decay with years´; the ocean shrinks and grows again´; the moon herself is lost in heaven´; but thou art forever the same, rejoicing in the brightness of thy course.

5 When the world is dark with tempests´; when thunders roll and lightnings fly´; thou lookest in thy beauty from the
6 clouds, and laughest at the storm. But to Ossian, thou lookest in vain; for he beholds thy beams no more; whether thy yellow hair floats on the eastern clouds, or thou tremblest
7 at the gates of the west. But thou art, perhaps, like me,
8 for a season; and thy years will have an end. Thou shalt sleep in thy clouds, careless of the voice of the morning.

9 Exult, then, O Sun, in the strength of thy youth! Age
10 is dark and unlovely: it is like the glimmering light of the moon, when it shines through broken clouds, and the [illegible] on the hills: the blast of the north is on the plain: the traveller shrinks in the midst of his journey.

The Irish swear that Ossian belongs to them— that he was born, lived, and wrote in Ireland

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Pythagoras was of beautiful large person, rich, dressed elegantly, practised athletics, exercised, bathed, used perfumes

Homer, about 907 years B.C.
Pythagoras " 600 " " "
Trojan expedition 1136 years B.C.
Troy taken 1127 " "
the Illliad
Phidias, the sculptor, born 488 B.C.
Socrates from 469 B.C. to 399 B.C.
Plato ("broad") 429 (about) 350347

Sophocles, Eschuylus, Euripides, flourished just before the maturity of Socrates. Their best works have not come down to moderns.—born 495 B.C.—died very old.

In Eschuylus, "the high‑wrought, trumpet tongued eloquence of Eschuylus") the figures are shadowy vast, majestic, dreamy—moving with haughty grandeur, strength, and will.

In Sophokles, ("the harmonious gracefulness of Sophokles tuning his love‑labored song like the sweetest warbling from a sacred grove" the dialogue and feelings are more like reality—the interest comes home nearer.—Great poetical beauty born 495 B.C. died very old

In Euripides ("the subtle pathos and reasonings & melting pathos of Euripides,") love and compassion—scientific refinement—something like skepticism. This writer was a hearer of Sokrates. born 480 B.C.—nineteen of his tragedies remain out of eighty or ninety.—

Aristophanes, contemporary of Sokrates, whom he lampoons in "The Clouds."

Aristotle born 384 B.C. at Stagira in Macedonia went early to Athens—studied under Plato— —was afterwards tutor to Alexander the Great— —returned to Athens, opened a gymnasium or school—left to escape a charge of atheism —poisoned himself.

Plutarch born a.d. 50 lived to old age


Zoroaster, two centuries after Moses. 1700 B.C.

Menu preceded both Zoroaster & Moses.

Confucius, (China) 500 B.C.

Menu first then

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  • All together