[several words illegible]
| By Walt Whitman|
[Sent to the Editors?]
|[When I was I was nearly grown to manhood in Brooklyn New York, ^(middle of 1838) met one of the returned US Marines from Fort Moultrie S.C. and had long talks with him.—learn'd the occurrence here below described—the death of Osceol|[o?]a The latter was a ^young, brave, leading Seminole in the Florida war of that time,—was surrender'd to our troops,—was imprison'd and ^literally died of "a broken heart" at Fort Moultrie. He sicken'd of ^his confinement—the doctor and officers w made every allowance ^and kindness possible for him; but his life's-end then the close:]
|When his hour for death had come,|
|He slowly rais'd himself from the bed on|
| the floor,|
|Drew on his war-dress, shirt, and leggings,|
| and girdled the belt around his waist;|
|Call'd for vermilion paint (his looking-glass|
| was held before him,)|
|Painted the half his face and neck, his wrists,|
| and the back-hands,|
|Put the scalp-knife carefully in his belt—|
| then lying down, resting a moment,|
|Rose again, half sitting, smiled, gave in silence|
| his extended to each and all,|
|Sank faintly low to the floor, tightly grasp'd|
| the tomahawk handle,|
|Fix'd his look on wife and little children—the|
|(And here a line in memory of his|
| name and death.)|
- This manuscript, apparently printer's copy, was probably written in 1889 or 1890, shortly before the poem's publication.
- Editorial note
- "Osceola" was published first in Munyon's Illustrated World, April 1890.
- The verso of the manuscript leaf is blank.
- Osceola | Yale Collection of American Literature, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library.
- Whitman Archive ID