When I Peruse The Conquer'D Fame


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 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.

by Walt Whitman

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