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True Conquerors

by Walt Whitman, 1892

Old farmers, travelers, workmen (no matter how crippled or bent,)
Old sailors, out of many a perilous voyage, storm and wreck,
Old soldiers from campaigns, with all their wounds, defeats and scars;
Enough that they've survived at all—long life's unflinching ones!
Forth from their struggles, trials, fights, to have emerged at all— in that alone,
True conquerors o'er all the rest.

Published in Leaves of Grass

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