I Sit And Look Out

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 prisoners;
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 upon,
See, hear, and am silent.

Walt Whitman

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2005 Selected Poetry
The Poets Garret
Tir Na nOg Poetry Community