Taylor Mac: Whitman in the Woods.

S2021 E6 | FULL EPISODE

When I Heard at the Close of the Day

Taylor Mac performs Walt Whitman's "When I Heard at the Close of Day” in glamorous drag costume and makeup inspired by the woodland surroundings of the Lower Hudson Valley.

AIRED: April 18, 2021 | 0:02:59
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TRANSCRIPT

When I heard at the close of day

how my name had been receiv'd with plaudits in the capitol,

still it was not a happy night for me that follow'd.

And else when I carous'd,

or my plans were accomplish'd,

still I was not happy.

But the day when I rose at dawn from the bed of perfect health,

refresh'd, singing, inhaling the ripe breath of autumn,

when I saw the full moon in the west grow pale

and disappear in the morning light,

and when I wander'd alone over the beach,

and undressing bathed, laughing with the cool waters,

and saw the sun rise,

and when I thought how my dear friend,

my lover was on his way come,

then I was happy.

Then each breath tasted sweeter,

and all that day my food nourish'd me more,

and the beautiful day pass'd well,

and the next day came with equal joy,

and with the next, at evening came my friend.

And that night while all was still,

I heard the waters roll slowly continually up the shores,

I heard the hissing liquid of the sands

as directed to me whispering to congratulate me,

for the one I love most

lay sleeping by me

under the same cover in the cool night,

in the stillness, in the autumn moonbeams,

his face was inclined toward me,

and his arm lay lightly around my breast,

and that night I was happy.

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