the dismal science

The markets, the government, the working–man’s wages, to
      think what account they are through our nights and days
To think that other working–men will make just as great
      account of them, yet we make little or no account.

The vulgar and the refined, what you call sin and what you
      call goodness, to think how wide a difference,
To think the difference will still continue to others, yet we
      lie beyond the difference.

To think how much pleasure there is,
Do you enjoy yourself in the city? or engaged in business?
      or planning a nomination and election? or with your
      wife and family?
Or with your mother and sisters? or in womanly housework?
      or the beautiful maternal cares?
These also flow onward to others, you and I flow onward,
But in due time you and I shall take less interest in them.

Your farm, profits, crops—to think how engross’d you are,
To think that there will still be farms, profits, crops, yet for you
      of what avail?

                                          —Walt Whitman, from ‘To Think of Time’


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