Whitman writes out this brief verse in full: "Women sit or move to & fro, some old, some young, | The young are beautiful, but the old are more beautiful than the young. | Leaves of Grass—page 217 | Walt Whitman | Jan: 13 1891."
These two lines were first published in the 1860 edition of Leaves of Grass in the poem "Debris." They reappeared under the title "Pitcure" in the 1867 Leaves and were first printed under the present title in the 1871 edition. Beginning with the 1881 Leaves of Grass, "Beautiful Women" was incorporated into the section "By the Roadside." A bold and striking transcription.
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