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About this Item

Title: To Those Who've Fail'd

Creator: Walt Whitman

Date: January 27, 1888

Whitman Archive ID: per.00092

Source: New York Herald 27 January 1888: 6. 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

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To Those Who've Fail'd.1

To those who've fail'd in aspirations vast,
To unnamed soldiers, fall'n in front, on the lead,
To calm, devoted engineers, to over ardent
travellers, to pilots on their ships,
To many a song and picture without parturi-
tion, I'd rear a laurel cover'd monument
High, high above the rest—to all cut off before
their time,
Possess'd by some great spirit of fire
Quenched by an early death.


1. Reprinted in the "Sands at Seventy" annex to Leaves of Grass (1888). Whitman made a number of changes to the poem for its printing in "Sands at Seventy," including making "aspirations" singular in the first line; inserting the word "lofty" and changing "parturition" to "recognition" in the fourth line; and replacing "great" with "strange" in the final line. The punctuation also differs in places. [back]


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