In Whitman's Hand


About this Item

Title: My Spirit sped back to

Creator: Walt Whitman

Date: Between 1850 and 1855

Whitman Archive ID: duk.00262

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 manuscript was likely written between 1850 and 1855 when Whitman was composing his first (1855) edition of Leaves of Grass. Some of the words and phrases in the manuscript appear in the first poem in that edition, eventually titled "Song of Myself." The manuscript also bears some resemblance to a line in the 1855 poem eventually titled "A Song for Occupations."

Contributors to digital file: Caitlin Henry, Nicole Gray, Kenneth M. Price, Farrah Lehman, and Whitney Helms

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My Soul Spirit was [curious?] and sped back to the
sped back returned to the times when the earth was forming mist, the aft

And peered beyond aft, and could see Concord beyond
the beginning; forming the mist,

And brings me perpetual word that Goodness is the Dilation or Pride is a
Mother father of Causes,

And that the a Father mother of Causes is Love Dilation or Pride.
Goodness or Love.—

And ^ that the such these they are the Parents ^yet, and witness and register their breed amours

And devise themselves to this spot place These States and this hour,

Again But And yet still my Soul Spirit was curious and travelled ahead

And pierced the black stern fine hem of darkness life, death and went
fearlessly through,

And came back from the grave with serene face,

And said to me, It is well, I am satisfied,

I behold the causes yet.— just the same there are eternally fresh—

I beheld Love also in the darkness,

I beheld Goodness ^ Dilation Pride Dilation just the same in the grave.— afterward,
and concord just the same in the grave— afterward.—

I behold Love also in the darkness.—

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Not one of the [heroic guest?]


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