Published Works


About this Item

Title: True Conquerors

Creator: Walt Whitman

Date: February 15, 1888

Whitman Archive ID: per.00095

Source: New York Herald 15 February 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

image 1

cropped image 1


Old farmers, travellers, workmen (no matter
how crippled or bent),
Old sailors, out of many a perilous voyage,
storm and wreck,
Old soldiers from campaigns, with all their
wounds, defeats and scars;
Enough that they've survived it all—long life's
unflinching ones!
Forth from their struggles, trials, fights, to have
emerged at all—in that alone,
True conquerors of life o'er all the rest.


1. Reprinted in the "Sands at Seventy" annex to Leaves of Grass (1888). The Herald printing of "True Conquerors" differs slightly from the poem's later printing in "Sands at Seventy." The fourth line of the "Sands at Seventy" version reads, "Enough that they've survived at all—long life's unflinching ones," and the final line omits the words "of life." [back]


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.