Melville Electronic Library

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Weeds & Wildings, with a Rose or Two

At his death, Melville left a book-length collection of poetic works in manuscript, tentatively titled Weeds & Wildings, with a Roses or Two. This cache of manuscripts includes several, revised tables of contents, indicating that Melville was periodically re-ordering the poems. In the display below, the pull-down provides links to each poem in the collection, including the prose dedication “To Winnefred” (Melville’s wife Elizabeth Shaw Melville), as arranged in the order found at Houghton Library. The lengthy prose-and-poem piece “Rip Van Winkle’s Lilac,” always positioned at the center of the collection, is viewed in a second display. Digital images of the Weeds & Wildings manuscripts—located in the Melville Collection of the Modern Books and Manuscript Department at Houghton Library of the Harvard College Library, Harvard University—are displayed here with the permission of Houghton Library.