Ah Poverties, Wincings, and Sulky Retreats

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from Leaves of Grass: BOOK XXXII. FROM NOON TO STARRY NIGHT - by Walt Whitman.

  Ah poverties, wincings, and sulky retreats,
  Ah you foes that in conflict have overcome me,
  (For what is my life or any man’s life but a conflict with foes, the
      old, the incessant war?)
  You degradations, you tussle with passions and appetites,
  You smarts from dissatisfied friendships, (ah wounds the sharpest of all!)
  You toil of painful and choked articulations, you meannesses,
  You shallow tongue-talks at tables, (my tongue the shallowest of any;)
  You broken resolutions, you racking angers, you smother’d ennuis!
  Ah think not you finally triumph, my real self has yet to come forth,
  It shall yet march forth o’ermastering, till all lies beneath me,
  It shall yet stand up the soldier of ultimate victory.


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