O ME! O life!… of the questions of these recurring;
Of the endless trains of the faithless–of cities fill’d with the foolish;
Of myself forever reproaching myself, (for who more foolish than I and who more faithless?)
Of eyes that vainly crave the light–of the objects mean–of the struggle ever renew’d;
Of the poor results of all–of the plodding and sordid crowds I see around me;
Of the empty and useless years of the rest–with the rest me intertwined;
The question, O me! so sad, recurring–What good amid these, O me, O life?
That you are here–that life exists, and identity;
That the powerful play goes on, and you will contribute a verse.
Walt Whitman, in Leaves of Grass