In Whitman's Hand

Poetry Manuscripts

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leaf 1 recto

[Yet far sweeps your road]

[Begin hashmark section]
^Yet far sweeps your road path, O O your path stretches far Martial constellation! far sweeps your stretches far your journey ever adding group!
For O the prize I see at issue is the
All its ships and shores I see
        interwoven with your threads,
        spotted cloth flag ;
Dream'd again the flags of kings,
        highest borne, to wave waft fly flaunt unrivall'd?
O destinedhasten blue and silver! O with sure and
        steady step, passing highest flags
        of kings.
Walk supreme to the heavens, mighty
        symbol—run up above them
Dense starr'd bunting
O your path stretches far, martial
O to find your lazy seams, they
        can turn and flap for carnage
O far, long, long your road,
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leaf 1 verso

This manuscript was likely written in 1865.
Editorial note
This is a draft of the poem eventually titled "Thick-Sprinkled Bunting," first published under the title "Flag of stars, thick-sprinkled bunting" in Drum-Taps in 1865.
On the verso is a letter draft, apparently to the editor of the New York Herald, asking that an accompanying "communication," now lost, be printed "to start a public demand for the general exchange of prisoners of war."
The Star-Speckled Banner  |  Huntington Public Library: Treasures From Walt Whitman.
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