In Whitman's Hand


About this Item

Title: You villain, Touch

Creator: Walt Whitman

Date: Between 1850 and 1855

Whitman Archive ID: tex.00002

Source: The Walt Whitman Collection, Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center, The University of Texas at Austin. 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 drafts of lines used in the first poem in that edition, eventually titled "Song of Myself."

Related item: The prose drafted on the back of this and several other related manuscript leaves includes ideas and phrases that resemble those used in "Unnamed Lands," a poem published first in the 1860 edition of Leaves of Grass. See duk.00003.

Contributors to digital file: Kirsten Clawson, Matt Miller, Nicole Gray, and Ken Price

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You villain, Touch! what are you doing?

Unloose me, Touch! the breath is leaving my

Open your floodgates! you are too much
for me.—

Fierce [Griping?] Grip'd Wrestler! do you keep your the heaviest
grip pull for the last?

Will Must you sting me most even the you with the worst spasms worst most fierce [most tightly closely?] ^bite with your teeth at parting?

Are you I glad you plunged ^ you from the threshold,
will ^ Must Will you struggle ^ [illegible] hardest [than?] worst
all [illegible] before? I plunge you from the [thres?]

Does it make you ache so to leave me.

Take what you like, ^ only pass on [for?] I am faintish [illegible] I can contain resist you no [longer?]
think I shall drop sink,

Take drops the tears of my life soul, if that is
what you are after.

Only pass to some one else, for I
can will contain you no longer.

Only pass to some one else ^leap to the nearest landing. ¶Little as your
mouth yo[illegible] lips are

I am faintish I am faintish; and ^it has drained me
dry of my strength.—


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