Ralph Waldo Emerson
Emerson's father was a Unitarian minister who died leaving his son to be brought up by his mother and aunt. Educated at Harvard, Emerson began writing journals filled with observations and ideas which would form the basis of his later essays and poems.
After a period of teaching, Emerson returned to Harvard to join the Divinity School where he was less than a perfect student owing to his poor health and a lack of conviction in religious dogma. He was ordained and was both effective and popular as a preacher, but felt compelled to resign because he did not feel he could conscientiously serve communion. In 1832 Emerson visited Europe, where he met Wordsworth, Coleridge and Carlyle ... more »
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Ralph Waldo Emerson Poems
Give All To Love
Give all to love; Obey thy heart; Friends, kindred, days, Estate, good-fame,
Deep in the man sits fast his fate To mould his fortunes, mean or great: Unknown to Cromwell as to me Was Cromwell's measure or degree;
I love thy music, mellow bell, I love thine iron chime, To life or death, to heaven or hell, Which calls the sons of Time.
Knows he who tills this lonely field To reap its scanty corn, What mystic fruit his acres yield At midnight and at morn?
Daughters of Time, the hypocritic Days, Muffled and dumb like barefoot dervishes, And marching single in an endless file, Bring diadems and fagots in their hands.
If the red slayer think he slays, Or if the slain think he is slain, They know not well the subtle ways I keep, and pass, and turn again.
Song of Nature
Mine are the night and morning, The pits of air, the gulf of space, The sportive sun, the gibbous moon, The innumerable days.
Was never form and never face So sweet to SEYD as only grace Which did not slumber like a stone, But hovered gleaming and was gone.
Man was made of social earth, Child and brother from his birth; Tethered by a liquid cord Of blood through veins of kindred poured,
By the rude bridge that arched the flood, Their flag to April's breeze unfurled, Here once the embattled farmers stood And fired the shot heard round the world.
The mountain and the squirrel Had a quarrel; And the former called the latter "Little Prig." Bun replied,
Announced by all the trumpets of the sky, Arrives the snow, and, driving o'er the fields, Seems nowhere to alight: the whited air Hides hill and woods, the river, and the heaven,
Think me not unkind and rude That I walk alone in grove and glen; I go to the god of the wood To fetch his word to men.
Give to barrows, trays, and pans Grace and glimmer of romance; Bring the moonlight into noon
Quotationsmore quotations »
''There is no one who does not exaggerate. In conversation, men are encumbered with personality, and talk too much.''Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. :"Nominalist and Realist," Essays, Second Series (1844).
''Those who have ruled human destinies, like planets, for thousands of years, were not handsome men.''Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Beauty," The Conduct of Life (1860).
''The covetousness or the malignity, which saddens me, when I ascribe it to society, is my own. I am environed by my self.''Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Character," Essays, Second Series (1844).
''No performance is worth loss of geniality. 'Tis a cruel price we pay for certain fancy goods called fine arts and philosophy.''Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Culture," The Conduct of Life (1860).
''In skating over thin ice, our safety is in our speed.''Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. Essays, "Prudence," First Series (1841).
(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)
(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
(26 April 1564 - 23 April 1616)
(10 December 1830 – 15 May 1886)
(12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973)
(1 February 1902 – 22 May 1967)
Edgar Allan Poe
(19 January 1809 - 7 October 1849)
(31 May 1819 - 26 March 1892)
(31 October 1795 – 23 February 1821)
Give All To Love
Give all to love;
Obey thy heart;
Friends, kindred, days,
Plans, credit, and the Muse,-
'Tis a brave master;
Let it have scope:
Follow it utterly,
Hope beyond hope:
High and more high
It dives into noon,
With wing unspent,
But it is a god,
Knows its own path,
And the outlets of the sky.
It was not for the mean;
It requireth courage stout,
Souls above doubt,
It will reward,-
They shall return
More than they were,
And ever ascending.
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