Published Works


About this Item

Title: The Spanish Lady

Creator: Walt Whitman

Date: August 4, 1840

Whitman Archive ID: per.00038

Source: The Long Island Democrat 4 August 1840: 2. Our transcription is based on a photocopy 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 and Susan Belasco


On a low couch reclining,
When slowly waned the day,
Wrapt in gentle slumber,
A Spanish maiden lay.
O beauteous was that lady;
And the splendour of the place
Matched well her form so graceful,
And her sweet, angelic face.
But what doth she lonely,
Who ought in courts to reign?
For the form that there lies sleeping
Owns the proudest name in Spain.
Tis the lovely Lady Inez,
De Castro's daughter fair,
Who in the castle chamber,
Slumbers so sweetly there.
O, better had she laid her
Mid the couches of the dead;
O better had she slumbered
Where the poisonous snake lay hid.
For worse than deadly serpent,
Or mouldering skeleton,
Are the fierce bloody hands of men,
By hate and fear urged on.
O Lady Inez, pleasant
Be the thoughts that now have birth
In thy visions; they are last of all
That thou shalt dream on earth.
Now noiseless on its hinges
Opens the chamber door,
And one whose trade is blood and crime
Steals slow across the floor.
High gleams the assassin's dagger;
And by the road that it has riven,
The soul of that fair lady
Has passed from earth to heaven.


Published Works | In Whitman's Hand | Life & Letters | Commentary | Resources | Pictures & Sound

Support the Archive | About the Archive

Distributed under a Creative Commons License. Matt Cohen, Ed Folsom, & Kenneth M. Price, editors.