In Whitman's Hand


About this Item

Title: Last of ebb, and daylight waning

Creator: Walt Whitman

Date: About 1885

Whitman Archive ID: yal.00044

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 "Last of Ebb, and Daylight Waning," first published in the "Fancies at Navesink" sequence of poems in the August 1885 issue of Nineteenth Century. Whitman probably composed this manuscript shortly before its publication in 1885.

Contributors to digital file: Nick Krauter, Lisa Renfro, Jennifer R. Overkamp, Andrew Jewell, Kenneth M. Price, Brett Barney, and Nicole Gray

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To th[illegible]

2 Last of the ebb, and daylight

Last of ^ of the poured-out ebb, and daylight waning,

sScented sea‑breaths landward shoreward making—
smells of sedge and salt incoming,

With many a half‑caught voice sent
up from by from the whirls and eddies,

Many a muffled confession—many a
sob and whisper'd word,

As fFrom As of speakars far or hid.

How they sweep down and out! how they mutter!

Heroes Poets unnamed ^ and lost designs— poets and artists greatest of any with all their lost designs,
—pride of

Pride of manhood—tones of the dying

Tones of the dying— Love unreturned—a chorus of age's complaints—
—love unreturn'd tones of the dying— —hope's last words,

Some suicide's despair'sing beguiling cry, Away
to the boundless waste, and never
again return.

On to oblivion! then! on—quicker, quicker yet!
on—on, and do your part, ye [illegible] shrouding ^burying waters!

On, for your time, ye furious debouché!

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