In Whitman's Hand

Poetry Manuscripts

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[Leaf 1 recto]

The dalliance of the eagles

In [full?] clear sight, high in the ample space
? I see The rushing contact amp amorous contact
        of the eagles
(The twain—the male and female)
The interlocking claws, Tthe spreading wings,
The spiral cutting the air together
By locking talons held—one mass reliev'd against the sky
Swift ^Four wings, gigantic—two beaks— Downward gyrating—splendid ^swift loops—
        over and over falling, rolling turning, an falling,
        pausing swift revolving circling, falling
Over Abo Close to the river pausing—motionless ? a minute—balanced
Then Till tacitly unlocking on slow majest firm pinion, then, she hers, [he ?]
        his, their separate flight pursuing

This manuscript was likely composed in the late 1870s or in 1880.
Editorial note
This manuscript is a draft of "The Dalliance of the Eagles," a poem first published in Cope's Tobacco Plant in November 1880.
Papers of Walt Whitman (MSS 3829)  |  Clifton Waller Barrett Library of American Literature, Albert H. Small Special Collections Library, University of Virginia.
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