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About this Item

Title: Halcyon Days

Creator: Walt Whitman

Date: January 29, 1888

Whitman Archive ID: per.00093

Source: New York Herald 29 January 1888: 12. 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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Not from successful love alone,
Nor wealth, nor honored middle age, nor vic-
tories of politics or war.
But as life wanes, and all the turbulent passions
As gorgeous, vapory, silent hues cover the even-
ing sky,
As softness, fulness, rest, suffuse the spirit and
frame like freshier, balmier air;
As the days take on a mellower light, and the
apple at last hangs really finished and in-
dolent ripe on the tree,
Then for the teeming quietest, happiest days of
The brooding and blissful halcyon days!2
Walt Whitman.


1. Reprinted in the "Sands at Seventy Annex" to Leaves of Grass (1888). [back]

2. In December 1887, another poet's "Halcyon Days" appeared in the New York Herald, though Whitman's poem and this earlier one have little but their title in common. When Whitman revised the poem for inclusion in "Sands at Seventy," he omitted the words "spirit and" in the fifth line. [back]


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