In Whitman's Hand


About this Item

Title: Night of south winds

Creator: Walt Whitman

Date: Between 1850 and 1855

Whitman Archive ID: nyp.00078

Source: The Oscar Lion Papers, 1914–1955, New York Public Library, New York, N.Y. 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 between 1850 and 1855 as he was composing the first (1855) edition of Leaves of Grass. Words and imagery from the manuscript appear in the first poem of that edition, eventually titled "Song of Myself."

Related item: On the back of this manuscript is a poetry draft related to "Song of Myself." See nyp.00733.

Contributors to digital file: Stephanie Blalock, Caitlin Henry, Nicole Gray, and Robert LaCosse

[begin leaf 1 recto] -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

[Page image:]

[begin hashmark section]
[cut away]

Still ^ [cut away] Night of Sleep—my bridal Night!

Night of south winds—Night of the large few sta[cut away]

Still slumberous night—

Mad, naked, summer Night!


Smile, for your lover comes!

Smile, O voluptuous, procreant Earth!

Earth of the nodding and beckoning ^ [sub[illegible]?] liquid trees!

Earth of the mountains, misty-topt!

Earth of departed sunset—Earth of shine and
dark, mottling the tide of the river!

Earth of the vitreous shower fall of the full moon, just
tinged with blue! as she rises!

Earth of the limpid gray of clouds purer and
clearer for my sake!

Earth of large far arms—rich apple-blossomed

Smile [illegible] for your lover comes.— Smile for your lover comes!

Spread round me Earth! Spread with your curtained hours;

Take me as many a time you've taken;

Till springing up in

Prodigal! you have given me love;

Sustenance, happiness, health have given;

Therefore I to you give love;

O, unspeakable, vital passionate love!

Spread round me, Earth—Spread with your over round me, curtained hours

Till springing up in the morning, twilight, again I cross your[cut away]


[end hashmark section]

[begin leaf 1 verso] -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

[Page image:]


Published Works | In Whitman's Hand | Life & Letters | Commentary | Resources | Pictures & Sound

Support the Archive | About the Archive

Distributed under a Creative Commons License. Matt Cohen, Ed Folsom, & Kenneth M. Price, editors.