Ralph Waldo Emerson
Guy - Poem by Ralph Waldo Emerson
Mortal mixed of middle clay,
Attempered to the night and day,
Interchangeable with things,
Needs no amulets nor rings.
Guy possessed the talisman
That all things from him began,
And as, of old, Polycrates
Chained the sunshine and the breeze,
So did Guy betimes discover
Fortune was his guard and lover;
In strange junctures, felt with awe
His own symmetry with law,
That no mixture could withstand
The virtue of his lucky hand.
He gold or jewel could not lose,
Nor not receive his ample dues;
In the street, if he turned round,
His eye the eye 'twas seeking found.
It seemed his Genius discreet
Worked on the Maker's own receipt,
And made each tide and element
Stewards of stipend and of rent;
So that the common waters fell
As costly wine into his well.
He had so sped his wise affairs
That he caught nature in his snares;
Early or late, the falling rain
Arrived in time to swell his grain;
Stream could not so perversely wind,
But corn of Guy's was there to grind;
The whirlwind found it on its way
To speed his sails, to dry his hay;
And the world's sun seemed to rise
To drudge all day for Guy the wise.
In his rich nurseries, timely skill
Strong crab with nobler blood did fill;
The Zephyr in his garden rolled
From plum trees vegetable gold;
And all the hours of the year
With their own harvest hovered were:
There was no frost but welcome came,
Nor freshet, nor midsummer flame;
Belonged to wind and world the toil
And venture, and to Guy the oil.
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