Walt Whitman: Thought (Of persons arrived at high positions)

(Walt Whitman: May 31, 1819-March 26, 1892)

Of persons arrived at high positions, ceremonies, wealth,
   scholarships, and the like;
(To me all that those persons have arrived at sinks away from
   them, except as it results to their bodies and souls,
So that often to me they appear gaunt and naked,
And often to me each one mocks the others, and mocks
   himself or herself,
And of each one the core of life, namely happiness, is full of
   the rotten excrement of maggots,
And often to me those men and women pass unwittingly the
   true realities of life, and go toward false realities,
And often to me they are alive after what custom has served
   them, but nothing more,
And often to me they are sad, hasty, unwaked
   sonnambules walking the dusk.)

                          –Walt Whitman