Published Works


About this Item

Title: The Pallid Wreath

Creator: Walt Whitman

Date: January 10, 1891

Publication information: Critic 18 (10 January 1891): 18.

Source: Our transcription is based on a digital image of a microfilm copy of an original issue.

Whitman Archive ID: per.00032

Contributors to digital file: Elizabeth Lorang, April Lambert, Heather Morton, Leslie Ianno, Ramon Guerra, and Susan Belasco

image 1

cropped image 1

The Pallid Wreath1

SOMEHOW I cannot let it go yet, funeral though it is,
Let it remain back there on its nail suspended,
With pink, blue, yellow, all blanch'd, and the white now gray
and ashy,
One wither'd rose put years ago for thee, dear friend,
But I do not forget thee. Hast thou then faded?
Is the odor exhaled? Are the colors, vitalities, dead?
No, while memories subtly play—the past vivid as ever;
For but last night I woke, and in that spectral ring saw
Thy smile, eyes, face, calm, silent, loving as ever:
So let the wreath hang still awhile within my eye-reach,
It is not yet dead to me, nor even pallid.
CAMDEN, January 4, 1891.


1. Reprinted in Good-Bye My Fancy (1891). [back]


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