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When I heard the learn’d astronomer.

WHEN I heard the learn’d astronomer;
When the proofs, the figures, were ranged in columns
         before me;
When I was shown the charts and the diagrams, to add,
         divide, and measure them;
When I, sitting, heard the astronomer, where he
         lectured with much applause in the lecture-room,
How soon, unaccountable, I became tired and sick;
Till rising and gliding out, I wander’d off by myself,
In the mystical moist night-air, and from time to time,
Look’d up in perfect silence at the stars.

Walt Whitman

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