“FOR THE SWEETEST, WISEST SOUL OF ALL MY DAYS AND LANDS…”: FIRST EDITION OF WHITMAN’S DRUM-TAPS, IMPORTANT PREFERRED ISSUE WITH SEQUEL FOR LINCOLN, CONTAINING THE FIRST PRINTING OF “WHEN LILACS LAST IN THE DOORYARD BLOOM’D”
WHITMAN, Walt. Drum-Taps. BOUND WITH: Sequel to Drum-Taps. When Lilacs Last in the Door-Yard Bloom'd. New York and Washington: No publisher, 1865-6. 12mo, original brown cloth, gilt- and blind-stamped medallions, speckled edges; pp. (iv), 5-72, (3), 4-24. Housed in a custom clamshell box.
First edition, the important and preferred second issue, one of only 1000 copies, with the first appearance of the sequel celebrating Lincoln containing “Lilacs” and “O Captain! My Captain!”
Drum-Taps "stands among the nation's finest poems" (ANB). Upon the death of Lincoln, Whitman delayed the printing of Drum-Taps and added "When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom'd," a "profoundly moving dirge for the martyred Lincoln" (CHAL), with separate pagination, table of contents, and title page. Myerson A3.1a2. Wells & Goldsmith, 11. BAL 21398. With the bookplates of W.T.H. Howe and Edith Barbara Tranter. Howe was president of the American Book Company in Cincinnati and a noted book collector; Tranter was his secretary (and subsequent administrator of his estate) who also amassed a significant book collection which was sold at auction in 1952.
Chip to edge of front pastedown, inner paper hinge starting but strong, only a couple tiny spots of foxing to interior, slight rubbing to binding. A near-fine copy with outstanding provenance.