WORD LISTS

"When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom’d" by Walt Whitman

April 8, 2019
Whitman wrote this elegy, or poem of mourning, in response to the assassination of Abraham Lincoln.

Here are links to our lists for other poems by Walt Whitman: Song of Myself, O Captain! My Captain!, A Noiseless Patient Spider
trinity
Ever-returning spring, trinity sure to me you bring,
Lilac blooming perennial and drooping star in the west,
And thought of him I love.
perennial
Ever-returning spring, trinity sure to me you bring,
Lilac blooming perennial and drooping star in the west,
And thought of him I love.
sprig
In the dooryard fronting an old farm-house near the white-wash’d palings,
Stands the lilac-bush tall-growing with heart-shaped leaves of rich green,
With many a pointed blossom rising delicate, with the perfume strong I love,
With every leaf a miracle—and from this bush in the dooryard,
With delicate-color’d blossoms and heart-shaped leaves of rich green,
A sprig with its flower I break.
warble
In the swamp in secluded recesses,
A shy and hidden bird is warbling a song.
hermit
Solitary the thrush,
The hermit withdrawn to himself, avoiding the settlements,
Sings by himself a song.
shroud
Passing the yellow-spear’d wheat, every grain from its shroud in the dark-brown fields uprisen,
Passing the apple-tree blows of white and pink in the orchards,
Carrying a corpse to where it shall rest in the grave,
Night and day journeys a coffin.
pomp
Coffin that passes through lanes and streets,
Through day and night with the great cloud darkening the land,
With the pomp of the inloop’d flags with the cities draped in black
procession
With the show of the States themselves as of crape-veil’d women standing,
With processions long and winding and the flambeaus of the night,
With the countless torches lit, with the silent sea of faces and the unbared heads
somber
With the waiting depot, the arriving coffin, and the sombre faces,
With dirges through the night, with the thousand voices rising strong and solemn,
With all the mournful voices of the dirges pour’d around the coffin
dirge
With the waiting depot, the arriving coffin, and the sombre faces,
With dirges through the night, with the thousand voices rising strong and solemn,
With all the mournful voices of the dirges pour’d around the coffin
solemn
With the waiting depot, the arriving coffin, and the sombre faces,
With dirges through the night, with the thousand voices rising strong and solemn,
With all the mournful voices of the dirges pour’d around the coffin
toll
With the tolling tolling bells’ perpetual clang,
Here, coffin that slowly passes,
I give you my sprig of lilac.
woe
As the night advanced, and I saw on the rim of the west how full you were of woe
bashful
Sing on there in the swamp,
O singer bashful and tender, I hear your notes, I hear your call,
I hear, I come presently, I understand you,
But a moment I linger, for the lustrous star has detain’d me,
The star my departing comrade holds and detains me.
presently
Sing on there in the swamp,
O singer bashful and tender, I hear your notes, I hear your call,
I hear, I come presently, I understand you,
But a moment I linger, for the lustrous star has detain’d me,
The star my departing comrade holds and detains me.
lucid
Pictures of growing spring and farms and homes,
With the Fourth-month eve at sundown, and the gray smoke lucid and bright,
With floods of the yellow gold of the gorgeous, indolent, sinking sun, burning, expanding the air,
With the fresh sweet herbage under foot, and the pale green leaves of the trees prolific
indolent
Pictures of growing spring and farms and homes,
With the Fourth-month eve at sundown, and the gray smoke lucid and bright,
With floods of the yellow gold of the gorgeous, indolent, sinking sun, burning, expanding the air,
With the fresh sweet herbage under foot, and the pale green leaves of the trees prolific
prolific
Pictures of growing spring and farms and homes,
With the Fourth-month eve at sundown, and the gray smoke lucid and bright,
With floods of the yellow gold of the gorgeous, indolent, sinking sun, burning, expanding the air,
With the fresh sweet herbage under foot, and the pale green leaves of the trees prolific
range
In the distance the flowing glaze, the breast of the river, with a wind-dapple here and there,
With ranging hills on the banks, with many a line against the sky, and shadows
spire
Lo, body and soul—this land,
My own Manhattan with spires, and the sparkling and hurrying tides, and the ships,
The varied and ample land, the South and the North in the light, Ohio’s shores and flashing Missouri,
And ever the far-spreading prairies cover’d with grass and corn.
haughty
Lo, the most excellent sun so calm and haughty,
The violet and purple morn with just-felt breezes,
The gentle soft-born measureless light,
The miracle spreading bathing all, the fulfill’d noon,
The coming eve delicious, the welcome night and the stars,
Over my cities shining all, enveloping man and land.
reedy
Sing on dearest brother, warble your reedy song,
Loud human song, with voice of uttermost woe.
minutia
I saw the ships how they sail’d,
And the summer approaching with richness, and the fields all busy with labor,
And the infinite separate houses, how they all went on, each with its meals and minutia of daily usages
undulate
Come lovely and soothing death,
Undulate round the world, serenely arriving, arriving,
In the day, in the night, to all, to each,
Sooner or later delicate death.
serene
Come lovely and soothing death,
Undulate round the world, serenely arriving, arriving,
In the day, in the night, to all, to each,
Sooner or later delicate death.
unfaltering
Then I chant it for thee, I glorify thee above all,
I bring thee a song that when thou must indeed come, come unfalteringly.
serenade
From me to thee glad serenades,
Dances for thee I propose saluting thee, adornments and feastings
for thee,
And the sights of the open landscape and the high-spread sky are
fitting,
And life and the fields, and the huge and thoughtful night.
adornment
From me to thee glad serenades,
Dances for thee I propose saluting thee, adornments and feastings for thee,
And the sights of the open landscape and the high-spread sky are fitting,
And life and the fields, and the huge and thoughtful night.
myriad
Over the tree-tops I float thee a song,
Over the rising and sinking waves, over the myriad fields and the prairies wide,
Over the dense-pack’d cities all and the teeming wharves and ways,
I float this carol with joy, with joy to thee O death.
teeming
Over the tree-tops I float thee a song,
Over the rising and sinking waves, over the myriad fields and the prairies wide,
Over the dense-pack’d cities all and the teeming wharves and ways,
I float this carol with joy, with joy to thee O death.
panorama
While my sight that was bound in my eyes unclosed,
As to long panoramas of visions.
hither
And I saw askant the armies,
I saw as in noiseless dreams hundreds of battle-flags,
Borne through the smoke of the battles and pierc’d with missiles I saw them,
And carried hither and yon through the smoke, and torn and bloody,
And at last but a few shreds left on the staffs, (and all in silence,)
And the staffs all splinter’d and broken.
musing
But I saw they were not as was thought,
They themselves were fully at rest, they suffer’d not,
The living remain’d and suffer’d, the mother suffer’d,
And the wife and the child and the musing comrade suffer’d,
And the armies that remain’d suffer’d.
commune
I cease from my song for thee,
From my gaze on thee in the west, fronting the west, communing with thee,
O comrade lustrous with silver face in the night.
countenance
Yet each to keep and all, retrievements out of the night,
The song, the wondrous chant of the gray-brown bird,
And the tallying chant, the echo arous’d in my soul,
With the lustrous and drooping star with the countenance full of woe

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