In Whitman's Hand


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This manuscript is a draft of the poem "To a Locomotive in Winter," which was published first on February 19, 1876 in the New York Daily Tribune in anticipation of the publication in that same year of Two Rivulets.On the reverse side of one of the strips of paper that makes up the second leaf of this manuscript is a handwritten poem entitled "The Soul and the Poet." This poem is related to the epigraph for the 1876, 1882, and 1891-1892 editions of Leaves of Grass beginning "Come, said my Soul." To a Locomotive in Winter and The Soul and the Poeta machine readable transcriptionWalt WhitmanKenneth M. PriceEd FolsomTranscription and encodingthe Walt Whitman Archive staffThe Institute for Advanced Technology in the HumanitiesUniversity of IowaUniversity of Nebraska-LincolnThe National Endowment for the HumanitiesThe United States Department of Education2004bpl.00006The Walt Whitman ArchiveThe Institute for Advanced Technology in the HumanitiesAlderman LibraryUniversity of VirginiaP.O. Box 400115Charlottesville, VA 22904-4115whitman@jefferson.village.virginia.eduCopyright © 2004 by Ed Folsom and Kenneth M. Price, all rights reserved. Items in the Archive may be shared in accordance with the Fair Use provisions of U.S. copyright law. Redistribution or republication on other terms, in any medium, requires express written consent from the editors and advance notification of the publisher, The Institute for Advanced Technology in the Humanities. Permission to reproduce the graphic images in this archive has been granted by the owners of the originals for this publication only.This manuscript was likely composed between February 1874 and the date of publication, February 1876. The note at the top appears to be dating the occasion of the poem rather than the day of composition.Walt Whitman To a Locomotive in WinterBetween 1874 and 1876The Walt Whitman Collection, Boston Public Library Transcribed from our own digital image of original manuscript.2005-03-11Andrew JewellKenneth M. PriceAddition of Date Markup2004-05-18Brett BarneyBlessed2004-03-05Kenneth M. PriceEdited2004-02-24Andrew JewellChecked, revised2002-10-28Jennifer R. OverkampTranscribed; encoded1Camden, N.J. Feb. 23, 1874.To a Locomotive in Winterby Walt WhitmanWhitman MSS. 1.Thee for my recitative!Thee in thy panoply, even as now,The driving storm, the snow, the winter day de-clining; blasts ofThy measured beat dual and panting, and thy beat convulsive, dual,Thy piercing, madly shrieking whistled laughterThy iron black and yellow brass —thy vast cylindricThe huge connecting, parallel bright gray parallel & connecting thy side,Thy iron jet, and yellow brass, and gray-blue steel, Thy bulky, black, cylindric body, yellow brass, & gray-blue steel,The mighty ? mighty side bars, parallel and connecting rods, gyrating,shuttling swift shuttling at thy sides,Thy metrical, now swelling, pealing sob and roar—now tapering in the distance,Thy huge great, protruding head-light, fixed in front, Thy long, pale delicate,fleecy, vapory pennants, tingedwith blue delicate purple,The dark clouds densely heavily puffing, belching fromthy smoke-stack,Thy knitted jointed frame—thy springs, and valves—the glitterof thy wheels,The long, obedient, speeding following, speeding train of cars,Through gale or calm, now swift, now slack, yetsteadily careering;Type of the modern! emblem of motion and power! pulse of the continent!ulse of the2To-day Come serve, for once, to-day for once the Muse, & merge in verse, even ashere & now I see thee;Mid storm & buffeting gusts of wind, & falling snow,Law of thyself complete, thine own track firmlyholding,*Mid storm, and buffeting gusts of wind, and falling snow;Ever by day tThy warning, brawling bell to ringits notes, as now,By night thy silent signal lamps to swing.Fierce-throated beauty!Law of thyself, complete, thine own track firmly holdingRoll through my lines chants with all thy lawless music,(No parlor sweetness thine debonair—nor tearful harp, nor liquid, glib piano thine.)Thou, and the buffeting storm, the gusts of wind,the falling snow,*Thy Thou of the brawling bell—thye echoes rousing all—thye swinginglamps at night,tr up *Thye Thou of the piercing, madly shrieking, whistled laughter!(No parlor sweetness thine—nor trembling, s tearful harp, nor liquid,glib piano;)Mine thy far-flying echoes, startling, rousing all Thyey trills, by the grey rocks, and hills & woods return'd, & fused with them,Launch'd o'er the prairies wide—across the lakes, orup the streams, becoming parts henceforth with to them, to songs of them,To the free p skies, unpent, and glad, and strong.The Soul and the Poet.Go, said a Soul to a Poet, Such songs, such verses write,that should you back againreturn,Invisibly, centuries hence, you may will resume all those songs,And with pleas'd smile fullyconfirm them.Walt Whitman


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