Page images
[blocks in formation]
[blocks in formation]


The crimson morning flames into

The fopperies of the town.
Within, without the idle earth,

Stars weave eternal rings;
The sun himself shines heartily,

And shares the joy he brings.


And what if Trade sow cities

Like shells along the shore,
And thatch with towns the prairie broad

With railways ironed o'er? —
They are but sailing foam-bells

Along Thought's causing stream, And take their shape and sun-color

From him that sends the dream.



For Destiny does not like

To yield to men the helm;
And shoots his thought by hidden nerves
Throughout the solid realm.

The patient Dæmon sits,
With roses and a shroud;
He has his way, and deals his gifts,-

But ours is not allowed.


He is no churl nor trifler,

And his viceroy is none,Love-without-weakness,

Of Genius sire and son.
And his will is not thwarted;

The seeds of land and sea
Are the atoms of his body bright,

And his behest obey.

85 90

He serveth the servant,

The brave he loves amain;
He kills the cripple and the sick,

And straight begins again;
For gods delight in gods,

And thrust the weak aside;
To him who scorns their charities

Their arms fly open wide.



When the old world is sterile

And the ages are effete,
He will from wrecks and sediment

The fairer world complete.
He forbids to despair;

His cheeks mantle with mirth; And the unimagined good of men

Is yeaning at the birth.


Spring still makes spring in the mind

When sixty years are told;
Love wakes anew this throbbing heart,

And we are never old.
Over the winter glaciers

I see the summer glow,
And through the wild-piled snowdrift,

The warm rosebuds below.



The one thing attempted in the editorial portions of this little book is to make these parts of service to the pupils who will read it. It has, therefore, seemed better to suggest a search, perhaps even too close, for the poet's literal meaning, rather than to risk leaving an impression of something beautiful, but vague. For facts concerning Emerson's life and for quotations from his journal, the editor is under obligations – as every student of Emerson must be — to E. W. Emerson's Emerson in Concord, J. E. Cabot's Memoir of Emerson, and 0. W. Holmes's Ralph Waldo Emerson.

[ocr errors]

COMPENSATION. 11. A by-word and a hissing : Emerson was once hissed at a political meeting in Cambridgeport. A friend who was present said one “could think of nothing but dogs baying at the moon.

He was serene as inoonlight itself.”

12. Res. administrari : translated in the preceding sentence. Primeval despots of Egypt: the Hyksos, or shepherd kings. The journey of Abraham to Egypt (Genesis xii. 10) is assigned to the early part of their reign, and that of Joseph (Genesis xxxvii. 28) to the closing period of their power.

15. It is in the world, etc.: cf. John i. 10. Oi .. ευπίπτουσι : translated in the following sentence.

17. The ingenuity of man, etc. : cf. the address to the backstairs” in Kingsley's Water-Babies, Chapter VIII.

19. Drive out nature with a fork: this saying is at least two thousand years old. See Horace's Epistolæ, I. 10. 24, “Naturam expellas furca, tamen usque recurret." The irreverent modern American illustration of the thought is the story of Mrs. Partington's trying to sweep back the Atlantic with her broom.

20. How secret art thou, etc. : Confessions of St. Augustine (fourth century), Book I. 18.


[ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »