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Ralph Waldo Emerson

(1803 - 1882 / Boston / United States)

Etienne de la Boéce


I serve you not, if you I follow,
Shadow-like, o'er hill and hollow,
And bend my fancy to your leading,
All too nimble for my treading.
When the pilgrimage is done,
And we've the landscape overrun,
I am bitter, vacant, thwarted,
And your heart is unsupported.
Vainly valiant, you have missed
The manhood that should yours resist,
Its complement; but if I could
In severe or cordial mood
Lead you rightly to my altar,
Where the wisest muses falter,
And worship that world-warning spark
Which dazzles me in midnight dark,
Equalizing small and large,
While the soul it doth surcharge,
That the poor is wealthy grown,
And the hermit never alone,
The traveller and the road seem one
With the errand to be done;—
That were a man's and lover's part,
That were Freedom's whitest chart.

Submitted: Monday, January 13, 2003

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