In Whitman's Hand

Poetry Manuscripts

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leaf 1 recto

Sail forth out for good ? for aye, ? O mystic yacht! of me

Heave the anchor short,
Raise main-sail and jib—steer out forth, ? for aye
O little white-hull'd sloop,now for the truly to ? speed take me truly really
        on to deep waters
Now, now to thy divinest venture
(I will not call it my our concluding voyage,
[at least one line cut away]
[paper glued]
But outset and sure entrance to the truest,
        best, maturest,)
In perfect faith—Depart ^ for good! ! ^depart from ? solid earth— ^ no more returning
        to these shores,
Now, now, for good, upon ^henceforth starting on thy our great divinest ? infinite
        venture sail! sailing, starting,
Spurning all yet known ports, seas, grav-
Sail forth out, in perfect faith ^for good for aye O mystic yacht of me.
leaf 1 verso

Whitman probably composed this manuscript shortly before its publication in March, 1891.
Editorial note
This manuscript is a draft of "Sail Out for Good, Eidólon Yacht!," which was published first in Lippincott's Magazine in March, 1891, with "Sounds of the Winter," "The Unexpress'd," and "After the Argument" under the general title of "Old-Age Echoes."
The verso of the manuscript leaf is an opened envelope, postmarked June 1890, glued to another scrap. The second scrap has three titles written in an unknown hand (probably an archivist): "Good bye My Fancy," "Sail out for Good Etc," "Page 7—Good Bye My Fancy."
Notes written on manuscript
In left margin, in unknown hand: ntx.
Sail Forth O Mystic Yacht  |  From the The Alice and Rollo G. Silver Collection in the Special Collections at Boston University.
Whitman Archive ID


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