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Walt Whitman - Warble for Lilac-Time.

WARBLE me now, for joy of Lilac-time, 
Sort me, O tongue and lips, for Nature’s sake, and sweet life’s sake—and
	death’s the same as life’s, 
Souvenirs of earliest summer—birds’ eggs, and the first berries; 
Gather the welcome signs, (as children, with pebbles, or stringing shells;) 
Put in April and May—the hylas croaking in the ponds—the elastic air,
Bees, butterflies, the sparrow with its simple notes, 
Blue-bird, and darting swallow—nor forget the high-hole flashing his golden wings, 
The tranquil sunny haze, the clinging smoke, the vapor, 
Spiritual, airy insects, humming on gossamer wings, 
Shimmer of waters, with fish in them—the cerulean above;
All that is jocund and sparkling—the brooks running, 
The maple woods, the crisp February days, and the sugar-making; 
The robin, where he hops, bright-eyed, brown-breasted, 
With musical clear call at sunrise, and again at sunset, 
Or flitting among the trees of the apple-orchard, building the nest of his mate;
The melted snow of March—the willow sending forth its yellow-green sprouts; 
—For spring-time is here! the summer is here! and what is this in it and from it? 
Thou, Soul, unloosen’d—the restlessness after I know not what; 
Come! let us lag here no longer—let us be up and away! 
O for another world! O if one could but fly like a bird!
O to escape—to sail forth, as in a ship! 
To glide with thee, O Soul, o’er all, in all, as a ship o’er the waters! 
—Gathering these hints, these preludes—the blue sky, the grass, the morning
    drops of
	dew; 
(With additional songs—every spring will I now strike up additional songs, 
Nor ever again forget, these tender days, the chants of Death as well as Life;)
The lilac-scent, the bushes, and the dark green, heart-shaped leaves, 
Wood violets, the little delicate pale blossoms called innocence, 
Samples and sorts not for themselves alone, but for their atmosphere, 
To tally, drench’d with them, tested by them, 
Cities and artificial life, and all their sights and scenes,
My mind henceforth, and all its meditations—my recitatives, 
My land, my age, my race, for once to serve in songs, 
(Sprouts, tokens ever of death indeed the same as life,) 
To grace the bush I love—to sing with the birds, 
A warble for joy of Lilac-time.

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Added: Feb 7 2004 | Viewed: 7567 times | Comments and analysis of Warble for Lilac-Time. by Walt Whitman Comments (3)

Warble for Lilac-Time. - Comments and Information

Poet: Walt Whitman
Poem: 3. Warble for Lilac-Time.
Volume: Leaves of Grass
- 20. Leaves of Grass
Year: Published/Written in 1900
Poem of the Day: Aug 4 2011

Comment 3 of 3, added on October 5th, 2009 at 9:24 AM.

This poem to me is about memory. The lasting memories of a child's many days spent outdoors.

jean webber from United States
Comment 2 of 3, added on October 1st, 2008 at 4:21 AM.

Lilacs don't grow whre I live and this poem brings back wonderful memories of lilac time, something I miss here in the desert. Thd language is of another time but I find it lovely. My mother loved poems of this type. She would be 93 and I wish I could send her lilacs wherever she is. The scent of lilacs makes me think that this is what heaven smells like.

Beverly from United States
Comment 1 of 3, added on April 20th, 2008 at 10:59 AM.

A big too wordy for my taste. I prefer simpler, more basic poetry that doesn't need such flowery language to tell what it wants to tell. But still ok poem.

Heather from United States

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