In Whitman's Hand


About this Item

Title: Hands Round

Creator: Walt Whitman

Date: Between 1865 and 1881

Whitman Archive ID: duk.00024

Source: Trent Collection of Whitmaniana, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University. Transcribed from digital images of the original. For a description of the editorial rationale behind our treatment of manuscripts, see our statement of editorial policy.

Editorial note: This poem was never published in Whitman's lifetime, though he worked on it through several different draft forms. Sculley Bradley and Harold Blodgett believe (with a certainty they don't explain) that it was composed in 1876 in celebration of the United States centennial. See Leaves of Grass, Comprehensive Reader's Edition (New York: New York University Press, 1965), 673. Another possibility is that the poem was composed when Whitman was drafting the cluster "Marches now the War is Over" in 1871.

Contributors to digital file: Nicole Gray, Andrew Jewell, Kenneth M. Price, Brett Barney, Nick Krauter, Stacey Provan, and Zach Bajaber

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Starry [Uni?]on Hands Ro[und]

[See!?] see! see! where the sun is beaming!

See! see! all see! how all the ^bright stars, they are a- gleaming! ? all the stars a-gleaming!

? O See by day [how the sun is beaming]

What the word charm of power unbroken?

O what ? Columbia's

What the Charm word spell of heavens own ly God's ceaseless [illegible]n token?

Union all! O its Union all! ? O its hand in hand, & a Union of all

O its all for in each & its each for in all

What Columbia's ? mystic [illegible] friendliest token‑

'Tils the hands we take for the Union of all

Herse's mine—give me thine—for the Union of all

What Columbia's friendliest token?

'Tis the hands we take All hands round for the Union all!

Here's mine—give me thine—for the Union all

Stars of the sky up above in eternal lustre

Stars of the earth States in a compact clustre

Clasping, holding, earthward, heavenward

Onward, on,

Circling, circling, moving roundward & onward

As our hands we grasp All hands round for the Union all

Here's mine—give me thine—for the Union all

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Red, white, blue [to?] in [illegible] eastward [illegible], western westward

Red, white, blue, to the sou northern , southern with the breezes waving

All including, combining, folding, loving,

E Northward, Southward, Westward moving

O its all hands round for the

Union all! O its Union all

Here's mine—give me thine—for the Union all

O its all ^ for each—and each for al

[paper glued]

Ever O orbs, be it Hand in hand linking clasping, holding, ^clasping, circling earthward, or heavenward!

Onward! onward! onward! onward!

[paper glued]

Stars of for the sky in their eternal the eternal an refulgent eternal lustre

Stars of for here the world ^earth in the an endless a in a compact cluster

Of Union all Then our hands here we give for the Union all!

O its all for each hand round—and each for all!

Ever orbs            in

Ever O Orbs of to be it [illegible] [earthward?] a[illegible]

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