by Walt Whitman (1819 - 1892)

At the last, tenderly
Language: English 
1
At the last, tenderly,
From the walls of the powerful, fortress'd house,
From the clasp of the knitted locks --
  from the keep of the well-closed doors,
Let me be wafted.

2
Let me glide noiselessly forth;
With the key of softness unlock the locks -- with a whisper,
Set [ope]1 the doors, O Soul!

3
Tenderly! be not impatient!
(Strong is your hold, O mortal flesh!
Strong is your hold, O Love.)

About the headline (FAQ)

View original text (without footnotes)
1 Bacon: "up"; Pederson: "open"

Authorship:

Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive):

Settings in other languages, adaptations, or excerpts:

  • Also set in French (Français), a translation by Léon Bazalgette (1873 - 1928) ; composed by Eva Ruth Spalding.

Research team for this text: Ted Perry , Malcolm Wren [Guest Editor]

This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 14
Word count: 72