In Whitman's Hand


About this Item

Title: The Great Laws do not

Creator: Walt Whitman

Date: Between 1850 and 1855

Whitman Archive ID: duk.00264

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: Whitman probably drafted this manuscript in the early 1850s as he was composing the first (1855) edition of Leaves of Grass. The manuscript includes language similar to lines that appeared in two of the poems in that edition, eventually titled "A Song for Occupations" and "Who Learns My Lesson Complete?"

Related items: On the back of this leaf are draft lines that appeared in the poem eventually titled "Faces." Both manuscript drafts were probably originally continuous with manuscript drafts on another leaf, from which this leaf was cut. See duk.00905, tex.00079, and tex.00321.

Contributors to digital file: Nicole Gray, Andrew Jewell, Kenneth Price, Brett Barney, Nick Krauter, and Amy Hezel

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The Great Laws do not treasure chips, and or
stick for the odd cent;

I am of the same fashion—for I am their

I rate myself high—I receive no small sums;

I must have my full price—whoever enjoys me.

I feel satisfied my visit will be worthy of me
and of my Hosts and Favorites;

I leave it to them how to receive me.—

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