Tuesday, November 16, 2010
I now write these lines seated on an old grave (doubtless of a century since at least) on the burial hill of the Whitmans of many generations.
Fifty and more graves are quite plainly traceable and as many more decay’d out of all form - depress’d mounds, crumbled and broken stones, cover’d with moss - the gray and sterile hill, the clumps of chestnuts outside, the silence, just varied by the soughing wind.
There is always the deepest eloquence of sermon or poem in any of these ancient graveyards of which Long Island has so many; so what must this one have been to me?
My whole family history with its successions of links, from the first settlements down to date, told here - three centuries concentrated on this sterile acre.” -- Walt Whitman (1819-1892) from Specimen Days