In Whitman's Hand


About this Item

Title: By thine own lips, O Sea

Creator: Walt Whitman

Date: 1883

Whitman Archive ID: yal.00014

Source: Yale Collection of American Literature, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library. 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 is a draft of the poem "With Husky-Haughty Lips, O Sea!," first published in Harper's Monthly Magazine in March 1884. The back of the manuscript leaf is letterhead with an illustration of the Sheldon House, Ocean Grove, New Jersey. Whitman visited Ocean Grove, New Jersey, with John Burroughs for a week in late September and early October 1883. This draft was probably composed at the time of the visit or shortly thereafter.

Contributors to digital file: Nick Krauter, Lisa Renfro, Stephen Boykewich, Nicole Gray, Andrew Jewell, Kenneth Price, and Brett Barney

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By thine own lips, O Sea

By thine own lips, O Sea,

By As where day and night I wander on here on the beach

To get [Counting?] the tally of the surf‑suggestions wordless utterance of these liquid wordless tongues

And To pass within my soul, which loves the
grim, mysterious, wordless

That This haughty‑husky utterance of the sea—
this unsubduedness,

That Thisy cosmic, ever‑latent voice of power, refusal

With The lengthened swell, and The irrepressible rage, and the ^ these emblems
many tears;—these emblems,

Some vast heart, like a planet's, chained
and chafing there here,

Some primitive right withheld—some freedom‑lover
pent—some tyranny;

Within, within and deep, ^ by [thee?] by day and night, ^by thine own tongue lips O SeaO Sea!

Surely some This chanted tale of elemental passion,

With undertone of muffled lion roar,

And skreel of whistling wind, and hiss of spray,

Thisy Thy A The chanted chanted tale of elemental passion,
thisy haughty husky utterance

Thisy tale of subterranean toil and wrongs
Unf For once Seems here Cconfided to me


To pass within my soul the
wordless lesson

Of all that power means

Of freedom, action,            in husky-haughty

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