Walt Whitman: Poems

Walt Whitman: The Dark Side

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

killed, to preserve the lives of the rest;

I observe the slights and degradations cast by arrogant persons upon

labourers, 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.