In Whitman's Hand

Poetry Manuscripts

Table of Contents
Color Key

leaf 1 recto

[Passing to years to come]

        Passing on to years to come—
        em scutcheon
        Shakespeares gorgeous per royal purple verse,
        preserved in Tennyson's sweet
        high-borne, sad, sweet
        high-borne lines,
leaf 1 verso

This manuscript was probably written in 1871 after Whitman accepted the invitation from the American Institute to compose and recite a poem at the opening of its fortieth Annual Exhibition in New York City. Whitman read the poem on September 7, 1871, and it was published on that date in the New York Evening Post and on subsequent days in at least eight other newspapers.
Editorial note
This manuscript relates to the poem first published as "After All, Not to Create Only" in newspapers and then as a small book with the same title in 1871. The poem was ultimately titled "Song of the Exposition." This manuscript is a draft of lines 51-53 in the final version of the poem.
After All Not to Create Only  |  The Charles E. Feinberg Collection of the Papers of Walt Whitman, Library of Congress, Washington, DC.
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