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About this Item

Title: The Play-Ground

Creator: Walt Whitman

Date: June 1, 1846

Whitman Archive ID: per.00001

Source: Brooklyn Daily Eagle 1 June 1846: [1]. Our transcription is based on a digital image of a microfilm copy of an original issue. For a description of the editorial rationale behind our treatment of the periodical poems, see our statement of editorial policy.

Contributors to digital file: Elizabeth Lorang, April Lambert, and Susan Belasco

image 1

For the Brooklyn Eagle.

The Play-Ground.

When painfully athwart my brain
Dark thoughts come crowding on,
And, sick of wordly hollowness,
My heart feels sad or lone—
Then out upon the green I walk,
Just ere the close of day,
And swift I ween the sight I view
Clears all my gloom away.
For there I see young children—
The cheeriest things on earth—
I see them play—I hear their tones
Of loud and reckless mirth.
And many a clear and flute-like laugh
Comes ringing through the air;
And many a roguish, flashing eye,
And rich red cheeks, are there.
O, lovely, happy children!
I am with you in my soul;
I shout—I strike the ball with you—
With you I race and roll.—
Methinks white-winged angels,
Floating unseen the while,
Hover around this village green,
And pleasantly they smile.
O, angels! guard these children!
Keep grief and guilt away;
From earthly harm—from evil thoughts—
O, shield them night and day!


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