In Whitman's Hand

Poetry Manuscripts

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[Leaf 1 recto]

By thine own lips, O Sea

By thine own lips, O Sea,
By As where day and night I wander on here on the beach
To get [Counting?] the tally of the surf‑suggestions wordless utterance of these liquid wordless tongues
And To pass within my soul, which loves the
        grim, mysterious, wordless story,
That This haughty‑husky utterance of the sea—
        —that this unsubduedness,
That Thisy cosmic, ever‑latent voice of power, refusal
With The lengthened swell, and The irrepressible rage, and the ^these emblems
        many tears;these emblems,
Some vast heart, like a planet's, chained
        and chafing there here,
Some primitive right withheld—some freedom‑lover
        pent—some tyranny;
Within, within and deep, ^by [thee?] by day and night, ^by thine own tongue lips O Sea O Sea!
Surely some This chanted tale of elemental passion,
With undertone of muffled lion roar,
And skreel of whistling wind, and hiss of spray,
Thisy Thy A The chanted chanted tale of elemental passion,
        —thisy haughty husky utterance
Thisy tale of subterranean toil and wrongs
        Unf For once Seems here C confided to me
*To pass within my soul the
        wordless lesson
Of all that power means
Of freedom, action, in husky-haughty
[Leaf 1 verso]  

Whitman visited Ocean Grove, New Jersey, with John Burroughs for a week in late September and early October 1883. This draft appears to be one of the later versions of several manuscript drafts and was probably composed at the time of the visit or shortly thereafter.
Editorial note
The verso of the manuscript leaf is letterhead containing an illustration of the Sheldon House, Ocean Grove, New Jersey.
By Thine Own Lips, O Sea  |  Yale Collection of American Literature,Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library.
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