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O poet bold and free as is the land that gave thee birth !
Thy rhythm is the rhythm of the earth and sea and star,
The man divine, bound to the perfect law of soul and sense.
This is thy message now, thy legacy for ages hence. Chelsea, Mass., 1888.
ELIZABETH PORTER GOULD. (5)
AND BIBLIOGRAPHICAL NOTE.
WALT WHITMAN, second child of Walter Whitman and his wife, Louisa (born Van Velsor), was born May 31, 1819, at West Hills, Long Island, N. Y., where his parents continued to reside till 1823, when they removed with their family to Brooklyn. Here he attended public school till 1831, when he was engaged to tend a lawyer's office, which he subsequently left for a doctor's. He next (in 1833) entered a printing office to learn type-setting, but after some three years gave this up for school-teaching, in which he was occupied for nearly another three years. His next venture was a weekly paper, The Long Islander, which he started at Huntington, L. I. Before the close of 1840 we find him back in New York working at the press, and employed in desultory journalistic writing. In 1846 he was called to the editorial chair of The Brooklyn Eagle, a post he held for two years. In 1848 he went to New Orleans to fill a place on the editorial staff of The Crescent, but after a brief service gave this up to make a tour in the South and South-west. In 1850 he returned to his Brooklyn home and became publisher of The Freeman, but soon exchanged the pen for the carpenter's adze to engage in house-building and selling.
In 1855 his sentiments of universal brotherhood first found full public expression by the issue of his “ Leaves of Grass," in the form of an unpretending little quarto volume of ninety-five pages. Next year a second edition appeared as a 16mo of 384 pages, and, in 1860, a third edi. tion of 456 pages was issued at Boston.
BIOGRAPHICAL AND BIBLIOGRAPHICAL NOTE.
But a call to which Walt Whitman could not turn a deaf ear summoned him in 1862 to different scenes and tasks. It was the call of humanity and patriotism. He proceeded to the seat of war in the South, there to minister to the wounded and sick in the hospitals and on the fields of battle. This work of mercy he continued for three years, and on the close of the war, in 1865, was rewarded by an appointment as a Department Clerk.
In 1867 he published the fourth edition of “Leaves of Grass," including “ Drum Taps," and a fifth edition in 1871. In 1873 he was struck down by paralysis in Washington, and ordered by his physicians to the Atlantic sea-coast. Before reaching this he broke down badly in Philadel
. phia, and went over to Camden, N. J., to take up his abode with a brother then residing there.
In 1876 appeared the sixth or Centennial Edition of " Leaves of Grass," along with a companion volume of prose and verse entitled the “ Two Rivulets,” and, in 1881, the seventh edition of the “Leaves " was issued by Osgood & Co., Boston.
In 1882 the poet entered into relations with his present publisher, David McKay, who had lately succeeded to the business of Rees, Welsh & Co. In this year Mr. McKay brought out for him the eighth edition of " Leaves of Grass,” as also the first edition of “Specimen Days," a prose volume mainly of autobiographical sketches. In 1888, though much disabled physically, Mr. Whitman brought out a new volume of prose and verse, under the title of “No. vember Boughs.” In this present year, 1889, he completes his seventieth year, and has issued a memorial edition (limited) of his works complete in one volume. Mr. Whitman has resided for the last fifteen years in Camden, his present residence being 328 Mickle street, in that city. On May 31st his friends entertained him at a banquet on the celebration of his seventieth birthday.