In Whitman's Hand

Poetry Manuscripts

Table of Contents
Color Key

[Leaf 1 recto]
headline Some black or antique if you have it

with husky‑haughty lips, O Sea!

With husky‑haughty lips, O sSea!
Where day and night I wend thy surf‑beat shore,
Imaging to my sense thy varied strange suggestions,
Thy troops of white‑maned racers racing to the goal,
Thy ample smiling face, dash'd with the spark-
        ling dimples of the sun,
Thy brooding scowl and murk—thy unloos'd
Thy unsubduedness, caprices, wilfulness;
Great as thou art o'er all, ^art seem'st above the rest, thy many tears—a lack
        from all eternity in thy content,
(Naught but the greatest, struggles, sorrows, wrongs, ^and wrongs, repressions, ^wrongs, defeats,
        could make thee greatest—no less could
        make thee,)
Thy lonely state—something thou ever seek'st and
        seek'st, yet never gain'st,
Some ^Surely some right withheld—some voice, ^in huge monotonous rage, of freedom‑lover
        pent, —some huge monotonous rage,
Some vast heart, like a planet's, chain'd and chafing ^in those breakers,
By lengthen'd swell, and spasm, and panting breath,
And rhythmic rasping of thy sands and waves,
And serpent hiss, and savage peals of laughter,
And undertones of distant lion roar,
(Sounding, appealing to the sky's deaf ear—but now
        rapport for once,
A phantom in the night thy confidant for once,)
The first and last confession of the globe,
Outsurging, muttering from thy soul's abysms,
The tale of cosmic elemental passion
Thou tellest to a Kindred soul.
                                                Walt Whitman
[Leaf 1 verso]  

This manuscript was probably written in late 1883 shortly before the poem was published.
Editorial note
This manuscript is a late draft of "With Husky-Haughty Lips, O Sea!" which was published first in Harper's Monthly in March 1884.
Notes written on manuscript
In top margin, in unknown hand: 529.
With Husky-Haughty Lips, O Sea!  |  Yale Collection of American Literature, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library.
Whitman Archive ID


Published Works | In Whitman's Hand | Life & Letters | Commentary | Resources | Pictures & Sound

Support the Archive | About the Archive

Distributed under a Creative Commons License. Ed Folsom & Kenneth M. Price, editors.