In Whitman's Hand

Poetry Manuscripts

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leaf 1 recto
the ^little waves from

Waves in the Vessel's wake

I saw a sShip sail on—and after she
        had sail'd on, had pass'd,
The waters current in her wake—the little hastening waves
         ^hastening from afar, smaller on larger,
And the ^far billows reaching up, with their prying looks
        and white necks, bending over, with their with prying looks
Tending ^[about two letters illegible] gaily with swift flow toward the track left by the ^departed ship
And the ^great spread of the sea itself, ^hoarsely blubbling and gur gurgling thither,
Toward that motley, laughing buoyandt
        streak of itself,
When the ship sailing on, had [stirred?] up displaced the surface,
Undulating, and flashing, so whirling frolicsome
        under the sun;
The To the Toward that long, long, shining, and mottled track, ^with curves,
Where the ship, sailing & tacking, had displaced the
        with curves, surface
Thither The ^little & larger waves, with yearnfully flowing with frag-
ments & foam—a long varied procession, A varied procession, with many a fleck of foam & many fragments
        where, they
They In There, to the wake of the vessel, ^they, long ^& long after
        she had pass'd,
Gathering, joyously followed.
leaf 1 verso

This manuscript was probably written in 1874.
Editorial note
This manuscript is a draft of a poem published first as "In the Wake Following" in the December 1874 issue of the New York Daily Graphic. The poem was later revised and published as "After the Sea-Ship."
Waves in the Vessel's Wake  |  Mills College, Oakland, CA .
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