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

168. Beginners

HOW they are provided for upon the earth, (appearing at intervals;)

How dear and dreadful they are to the earth;

How they inure to themselves as much as to any—What a paradox appears their age;

How people respond to them, yet know them not;

How there is something relentless in their fate, all times;

How all times mischoose the objects of their adulation and reward,

And how the same inexorable price must still be paid for the same great purchase.