At the Mouth of the River
[Last of ebb]
|Last of the the ebb, and daylight waning,|
|Scented sea‑breaths landward making—smells|
| of the salt and sedge incoming,|
|While many the a half‑caught voice sound comes up from|
| those frantic the whirls and eddies,|
|Many the a muffled confession, many a the a sob|
| and whispering word,|
|As of speakers voices speakers far or hid.|
|[Leaf 1 verso] |
|How they sweep down and out! how|
| they mutter!|
|Hopes Pride of youth— manhood—tones of the dying—|
| |athechorus of age's complaints—feverish
| love,—the last, —hope's last bitter words,|
|Haply the The |heHeroes unknown, unnamed, borne down borne down off——the poets
| and artists unknown, yet|
| greater than any, known|
|Some suicide's despair's beguiling words, cry, and wish,|
| Away Away |tTo the boundless waste, and to and
| never again return.ing.|
|[Leaf 1 verso] |
|So ^Hold ye so many burnt-out lives, O ye drowning tide many burnt-out lives, drowning tide ^and waning fading light|!?
|Such ventures, —such aspirations lost? such failures?|
|On (On!(On!! on on to oblivion,, then! ^ye ventures aspirations lost |[aspirations?]On, On, more quickly quicker
| on quicker yet yet, ye sweltering, whirling, shrouding|
| waters!) ebb!) waters!)|
|On to oblivion then! ^on quicker, quicker yet on, quicker yet, on ye sweltering shrouding wate|rsr
| ^(On for your time ye furious debouché! On, quicker yet|
- Whitman probably composed this manuscript shortly before its publication in 1885.
- Editorial note
- This manuscript is a draft of the poem "Last of Ebb, and Daylight Waning," first published in the "Fancies at Navesink" sequence of poems in the August, 1885 issue of Nineteenth Century.
- Notes written on manuscript
- In top margin, in unknown hand: 11.
- In top margin, in unknown hand: 12.
- In top margin, in unknown hand: 13.
- Last of ebb, and daylight waning | Yale Collection of American Literature, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library.
- Whitman Archive ID