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About this Item

Title: Soon Shall Winter's Foil Be Here

Creator: Walt Whitman

Date: February 21, 1888

Whitman Archive ID: per.00096

Source: New York Herald 21 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

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Soon Shall the Winter's Foil Be Here.1

Soon shall the winter's foil be here;
Soon shall these icy ligatures unbind and melt.
A little while,
And air, soil, wave, suffused shall be in softness,
bloom and growth; a thousand forms
shall rise
From these dead clods and chills as from low
burial graves.
Thine eyes, ears—all thy best attributes—all
that takes cognizance of natural beauty—
Shall wake and fill. Thou shalt perceive the
simple shows, delicate miracles of earth,
Dandelions, clover, the emerald grass, the early
scents and flowers,
The arbutus under foot, the willow's yellow-
green, the blossoming plum and cherry;
With these the robin, lark and thrush singing
their songs—the flitting bluebird;
For such the scenes the annual endless play
brings on.2


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

2. In the "Sands at Seventy" printing of this poem, the word "endless" is omitted from the last line. [back]


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