In Whitman's Hand
[A procession without halt]
|A procession without rest or halt,|
|Apparent at times and hid at times,|
|Rising the rising grounds, in relief|
| against the clear sky, lost|
| in the [g?] hollows, stretched|
| interminably over the plains,|
|No eye so far‑reaching as to|
see where the last first |
|No eye that ever saw the starting—|
| no eye that ever shall need|
| wait for the ending|
|Where [deletion, illegible] any one passes views goes, however ahead,|
| the rest only coming, however|
| far behind,|
|Marches the a marching procession|
- The date is unknown. However, the lines were probably composed between 1861 and 1870, when Whitman had most reason to employ imagery of marching.
- Editorial note
- This is a draft of a poem unpublished in Whitman's lifetime. Whitman used the image of a procession many times in his poetry, including in section 38 of "Song of Myself" and in section 6 of "Return of the Heroes" (in the final versions of those poems). However, this manuscript is most likely a draft toward a different poem altogether.
- [A procession without halt] | The Bayley-Whitman Collection, Ohio Wesleyan University, Delaware OH.
- Whitman Archive ID