When I Peruse the Conquer'd Fame (by Walt Whitman)
When I Peruse the Conquer'd Fame
by Walt Whitman
from "Calamus" in Leaves of Grass, 1867
When I peruse the conquer'd fame of heroes and the victories of mighty generals,
I do not envy the generals,
Nor the President in his Presidency, nor the rich in his great house,
But when I hear of the brotherhood of lovers, how it was with them,
How together through life, through dangers, odium, unchanging, long and long,
Through youth and through middle and old age, how unfaltering, how affectionate
and faithful they were,
Then I am pensive—I hastily walk away fill'd with the bitterest envy.
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