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Walt Whitman (1819–1892). Leaves of Grass. 1900.

140. Not Youth Pertains to Me

NOT youth pertains to me,

Nor delicatesse—I cannot beguile the time with talk;

Awkward in the parlor, neither a dancer nor elegant;

In the learn’d coterie sitting constrain’d and still—for learning. inures not to me;

Beauty, knowledge, inure not to me—yet there are two or three things inure to me;

I have nourish’d the wounded, and sooth’d many a dying soldier,

And at intervals, waiting, or in the midst of camp,

Composed these songs.