In Whitman's Hand

Poetry Manuscripts

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[Leaf 1 recto]
[at least several letters torn away]and

Starry [Uni?]onHands Ro[und]

[See!?] see! see! where the sun is beaming!
See! see! all see! how all the ^bright stars, they are a-gleaming! ? all the stars a-gleaming!
? O See by day [how the sun is beaming]
What the word charm of power unbroken?
O what ? Columbia's
What the Charm word spell of heavens ownly God's ceaseless [several letters illegible]n token?
Union all! O its Union all! ? O its hand in hand, & a Union of all
O its all for in each & its each for in all
What Columbia's mystic ? [one word illegible] friendliest token‑
'Tils the hands we take for the Union of all
Herse's mine—give me thine—for the Union of all
What Columbia's friendliest token?
'Tis the hands we take All hands round for the Union all!
Here's mine—give me thine—for the Union all
Stars of the sky up above in eternal lustre
Stars of the earth States in a compact clustre
Clasping, holding, earthward, heavenward
Onward, on,
Circling, circling, moving roundward & onward
As our hands we grasp All hands round for the Union all
Here's mine—give me thine—for the Union all
[Leaf 1 verso]  
Red, white, blue [to?] in[one word torn away] eastward [one word torn away], western westward
Red, white, blue, to the sou to the sou northern, southern, southern with the breezes waving
All including, combining, folding, loving,
E Northward, Southward, Westward moving
O its all hands round for the
Union all! O its Union all
Here's mine—give me thine—for the Union all
O its all ^for each—and each for al
[paper glued]
Ever O orbs, be it Hand in hand clasping [linking,?] holding, ^clasping, circling earthward, or heavenward!
Onward! onward! onward! onward!
[paper glued]
Stars of for the sky in their eternal the eternal an refulgent eternal lustre
Stars of for here the world ^earth in the in the an endless endless a in a compact cluster
Of Union all Then our hands here we give for the Union all!
O its all for each hand round —and each for all!
Ever orbs in
Ever O Orbs of to be it [about one word illegible][earthward?] a[at least one letter illegible]

Sculley Bradley and Harold Blodgett believe (with a certainty they don't explain) that this manuscript was composed in 1876 in celebration of the United States centennial. See Leaves of Grass, Comprehensive Reader's Edition, p. 673. Another possibility is that the poem was composed when Whitman was drafting the cluster "Marches now the War is Over" in 1871.
Editorial note
This poem was never published in Whitman's lifetime, though he worked on it through several different draft forms.
Hands Ro[und] MS quarto 24  |  The Trent Collection of Walt Whitman Manuscripts, Duke University Rare Book, Manuscript, and Special Collections Library.
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