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Walt Whitman: I Sit and Look Out


I Sit and Look Out

Walt Whitman (1819-1892)

I sit and look out upon all the sorrows of the world, and upon all

     oppression and shame,

I hear secret convulsive sobs from young men at anguish with

     themselves, remorseful after deeds done,

I see in low life the mother misused by her children, dying, neglected,

     gaunt, desperate,

I see the wife misused by her husband, I see the treacherous seducer

     of young women,

I mark the ranklings of jealousy and unrequited love attempted to be

     hid, I see these sights on the earth,

I see the workings of battle, pestilence, tyranny, I see martyrs and


I observe a famine at sea, I observe the sailors casting lots who shall

     be kill'd to preserve the lives of the rest,

I observe the slights and degradations cast by arrogant persons upon

     laborers, the poor, and upon negroes, and the like;

All these-all the meanness and agony without end I sitting look out


See, hear, and am silent.