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About this Item

Title: Old Ireland

Creator: Walt Whitman

Date: November 2, 1861

Whitman Archive ID: per.00078

Source: New York Leader 2 November 1861: [1]. Our transcription is based on a digital image 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

cropped image 1





Far hence, amid an isle of wondrous beauty,
Crouching over a grave, an ancient sorrowful mo-
Once a queen—now lean and tattered, seated on the
Her old white hair drooping dishevel'd round her
At her feet fallen an unused royal harp,
Long silent—she too long silent—mourning her
shrouded hope and heir;
Of all the earth her heart most full of sorrow, be-
cause most full of love.
Yet a word, ancient mother;
You need crouch there no longer on the cold ground;
Oh! you need not sit there, veil'd in your old white
hair, so dishevel'd,
For know you the one you mourn is not in that
It was an illusion—the heir, the son you love, was not
really dead;
The Lord is not dead—he is risen again, young and
strong, in another country;
Even while you, veiled, wept there by your fallen
harp, by the grave,
What you wept for was translated, pass'd from the
The winds favor'd and the sea sail'd it,
And now with rosy and new blood, again among the
nations of the earth,
Moves to-day, an armed man, in a new country.


1. Reprinted with some revisions in Drum-Taps (1865). [back]


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