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About this Item

Title: To Bryant, the Poet of Nature

Creator: Walt Whitman

Date: July 26, 1842

Whitman Archive ID: per.00350

Source: New Era 26 July 1842: [2]. Our transcription is based on a digital image 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, Kenneth M. Price, Wendy Katz, and Susan Belasco

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For the New Era.

To BRYANT, the Poet of Nature1

Let Glory diadem the mighty dead—
Let monuments of brass and marble rise
To those who have upon our being shed
A golden halo, borrowed from the skies,
And given to time its most enduring prize;
For they but little less than angels were:
But not to thee, oh! nature's OWN, we should
(When from this clod the minstrel-soul aspires
And joins the glorious band of purer lyres)
Tall columns build: thy monument is here—
For ever fixed in its eternity—
A monument God-built! 'Tis seen around—
In mountains huge and many gliding streams—
Where'er the torrent lifts a melancholy sound,
Or modest flower in broad savannah gleams.
W. W.


1. For information on the attribution of this poem to Walt Whitman, see Wendy J. Katz, "A Newly Discovered Whitman Poem About William Cullen Bryant," Walt Whitman Quarterly Review 32 (2014), 69–76. [back]


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