Poems by Ralph Waldo Emerson

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A dull uncertain brain,
Dear brother, would you know the life,
Why fear to die
High was her heart, and yet was well inclined,
I, Alphonso, live and learn,
And when I am entombed in my place,
The April winds are magical
Give to barrows, trays and pans
Quit the hut, frequent the palace,
Each the herald is who wrote
Bring me wine, but wine which never grew
Be of good cheer, brave spirit; steadfastly
Was never form and never face
'May be true what I had heard,--
Darlings of children and of bard,
Give me truths;
FROM THE FRENCH
The rocky nook with hilltops three
READ IN MUSIC HALL, JANUARY 1, 1863
Go thou to thy learned task,
If the red slayer think he slays,
In the suburb, in the town,
Test of the poet is knowledge of love,
The sun set, but set not his hope:
Nature centres into balls,
I am not wiser for my age,
Why should I keep holiday
The wings of Time are black and white,
SUNG AT THE COMPLETION OF THE BATTLE MONUMENT, JULY 4, 1837
Who saw the hid beginnings
Can rules or tutors educate
The solid, solid universe
Day by day returns
Daughters of Time, the hypocritic Days,
That you are fair or wise is vain,
CONCORD, 1838
Little thinks, in the field, yon red-cloaked clown
'Mine and yours;
Bethink, poor heart, what bitter kind of jest
The sense of the world is short,--
They put their finger on their lip,
I serve you not, if you I follow,
Over his head were the maple buds,
The lords of life, the lords of life,--
The mountain and the squirrel
Ah Fate, cannot a man
Deep in the man sits fast his fate
Her planted eye to-day controls,
Hast thou named all the birds without a gun?
Long I followed happy guides,
He took the color of his vest
A train of gay and clouded days
The patient Pan,
Our eyeless bark sails free
Wisp and meteor nightly falling,
See yonder leafless trees against the sky,
I
Once I wished I might rehearse
A ruddy drop of manly blood
Thou foolish Hafiz! Say, do churls
The sea is the road of the bold,
He who has a thousand friends has not a friend to spare,
I said to heaven that glowed above,
Two things thou shalt not long for, if thou love a mind serene;--
Each spot where tulips prank their state
Ill fits the abstemious Muse a crown to weave
True Brahmin, in the morning meadows wet,
Gifts of one who loved me,--
Give all to love;
The cup of life is not so shallow
Good-bye, proud world! I'm going home:
How much, preventing God, how much I owe
'A New commandment,' said the smiling Muse,
Mortal mixed of middle clay,
Her passions the shy violet
Bulkeley, Hunt, Willard, Hosmer, Meriam, Flint,
Shines the last age, the next with hope is seen,
On a mound an Arab lay,
Ruby wine is drunk by knaves,
From fall to spring, the russet acorn,
Ere he was born, the stars of fate
Every thought is public,
SUNG AT THE SECOND CHURCH, AT THE ORDINATION OF REV. CHANDLER ROBBINS
There is in all the sons of men
I bear in youth the sad infirmities
Flow, flow the waves hated,
I mourn upon this battle-field,
I. THE INITIAL LOVE
Fall, stream, from Heaven to bless; return as well;
Power that by obedience grows,
Go, speed the stars of Thought
Gravely it broods apart on joy,
Every day brings a ship,
Who knows this or that?
Tell me, maiden, dost thou use
Love scatters oil
Love on his errand bound to go
Two well-assorted travellers use
Illusion works impenetrable,
Soft and softlier hold me, friends!
Grace, Beauty and Caprice
Daughter of Heaven and Earth, coy Spring,
Night-dreams trace on Memory's wall
Thy trivial harp will never please
The rhyme of the poet
I
What care I, so they stand the same,--
I cannot spare water or wine,
Thousand minstrels woke within me,
Dark flower of Cheshire garden,
Let me go where'er I will,
Because I was content with these poor fields,
If I could put my woods in song
All day the waves assailed the rock,
I
Boon Nature yields each day a brag which we now first behold,
Winters know
She is gamesome and good,
As sings the pine-tree in the wind,
Already blushes on thy cheek
I left my dreary page and sallied forth,
The gale that wrecked you on the sand,
October woods wherein
Though loath to grieve
O tenderly the haughty day
Who gave thee, O Beauty,
He who has no hands
O what are heroes, prophets, men,
Well and wisely said the Greek,
[Knows he who tills this lonely field
Philosophers are lined with eyes within,
Ever the Poet from the land
To clothe the fiery thought
Gold and iron are good
His tongue was framed to music,
Cast the bantling on the rocks,
When success exalts thy lot,
In countless upward-striving waves
Theme no poet gladly sung,
The bard and mystic held me for their own,
Have ye seen the caterpillar
They brought me rubies from the mine,
With beams December planets dart
Trees in groves,
Though love repine, and reason chafe,
I heard or seemed to hear the chiding Sea
Though her eye seek other forms
Henceforth, please God, forever I forego
In the turbulent beauty
I see all human wits
I am the Muse who sung alway
Mine are the night and morning,
Among the religious customs of the dervishes is an astronomical dance, in which the dervish imitates the movements of the heavenly bodies, by spinning on his own axis, whilst at the same time he revolves round the Sheikh in the centre, representing t
Never did sculptor's dream unfold
The living Heaven thy prayers respect,
Would you know what joy is hid
Seek not the spirit, if it hide
Wilt thou seal up the avenues of ill?
It is time to be old,
A JOURNAL
Your picture smiles as first it smiled;
Think me not unkind and rude
I love thy music, mellow bell,
In many forms we try
Day! hast thou two faces,
When I was born,
In the deep heart of man a poet dwells
FROM THE PERSIAN OF KERMANI
(AFTER TALIESSIN)
FROM HILALI
Many things the garden shows,
One musician is sure,
There is no architect
Burly, dozing humble-bee,
I
LINES WRITTEN BY THE AUTHOR'S BROTHER, EDWARD BLISS EMERSON, WHILST SAILING OUT OF BOSTON HARBOR, BOUND FOR THE ISLAND OF PORTO RICO, IN 1832
The little needle always knows the North,
I have trod this path a hundred times
The yesterday doth never smile,
The prosperous and beautiful
The debt is paid,
I
I like a church; I like a cowl;
ON BEING ASKED, WHENCE IS THE FLOWER?
And I behold once more
The sun goes down, and with him takes
Announced by all the trumpets of the sky,
The Sphinx is drowsy,
A sterner errand to the silken troop
(Musa loquitur.)
You shall not be overbold
BY ELLEN LOUISA TUCKER
Askest, 'How long thou shalt stay?'
A Queen rejoices in her peers,
A patch of meadow upland
Thanks to the morning light,
Thine eyes still shined for me, though far
I am not poor, but I am proud,
The South-wind brings
And Ellen, when the graybeard years
The green grass is bowing,
O fair and stately maid, whose eyes
Set not thy foot on graves;
Thee, dear friend, a brother soothes,
Not in their houses stand the stars,
From thy worth and weight the stars gravitate,
Thy foes to hunt, thy enviers to strike down,
I rake no coffined clay, nor publish wide
Thy summer voice, Musketaquit,
Roving, roving, as it seems,
Space is ample, east and west,
It fell in the ancient periods
Vast the realm of Being is,
I
I do not count the hours I spend
In my garden three ways meet,
The water understands
Who shall tell what did befall,
Let Webster's lofty face
1
As sunbeams stream through liberal space
This is he, who, felled by foes,
Alone in Rome. Why, Rome is lonely too;--
Six thankful weeks,--and let it be
We are what we are made; each following day
By fate, not option, frugal Nature gave

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