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Title: Nay, Tell Me Not To-day the Publish'd Shame

Creator: Walt Whitman

Date: March 5, 1873

Whitman Archive ID: per.00127

Source: New York Daily Graphic 5 March 1873: 2. 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



Nay, tell me not to-day the publish'd shame,
Read not to-day for once the journal's crowded page,
The merciless reports verbatim, still branding fore-
head after forehead,
The guilty column following guilty column.
To-day to me the tale refusing,
Turning from it—from the White Capitols of the Na-
tion turning,
Far fom their swelling domes, topt with statues,
More endless, jubilant, vital visions rise
Unreck'd, unpublish'd, unreported.
Through all your quiet ways, or North or South, you
Equal States, your honest farms,
Your myriad untold manly healthy lives, or East or
West, city or country,
Your noiseless mothers, sisters, wives, unconscious
of their good,
Your mass of homes nor poor nor rich, in vision rise
—(even your excellent poverties,)
Your self-distilling, never-ceasing virtues, self-de-
nials, graces,
Your eternal base of deep integrities within, timid
but certain,
Your blessings stealthily bestowed, sure as the light,
and still,
(Plunging to these, as a determined diver down the
deep hidden waters,)
These, these, to-day I brood upon—all else refusing,
these will I con,
All day to these give audience.
Washington, March 4, 1873.


1. Reprinted in Conservator 7 (October 1896): 121-122; Leaves of Grass (1897). [back]


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