Thanks in Old Age (Poem by Walter Whitman)

Suggested Poem

Thanks in Old Age
By Walter Whitman


Thanks in old age — thanks ere I go,
For health, the midday sun, the impalpable air — for life, mere life,
For precious ever-lingering memories, (of you my mother dear — you, father — you, brothers, sisters, friends,)
For all my days — not those of peace alone — the days of war the same,
For gentle words, caresses, gifts from foreign lands,
For shelter, wine and meat — for sweet appreciation,
(You distant, dim unknown — or young or old — countless, unspecified, readers belov’d,
We never met, and neer shall meet — and yet our souls embrace, long, close and long;)
For beings, groups, love, deeds, words, books — for colors, forms,
For all the brave strong men — devoted, hardy men — who’ve forward sprung in freedom’s help, all years, all lands
For braver, stronger, more devoted men — (a special laurel ere I go, to life’s war’s chosen ones,
The cannoneers of song and thought — the great artillerists — the foremost leaders, captains of the soul:)
As soldier from an ended war return’d — As traveler out of myriads, to the long procession retrospective,
Thanks — joyful thanks! — a soldier’s, traveler’s thanks.

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