Ralph Waldo Emerson

(1803 - 1882 / Boston / United States)

Ralph Waldo Emerson Quotes

  • ''We must leave our pets at home, when we go into the street, and meet men on broad grounds of good meaning and good sense.''
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Culture," The Conduct of Life (1860). Anyone who has daily dodged the yelping dogs that clog the streets and elevators of New York City will welcome Emerson's remark on the matter.
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  • ''Health, south wind, books, old trees, a boat, a friend.''
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. Emerson in His Journals, March 1847, ed. Joel Porte (1982).
  • ''Two may talk and one may hear, but three cannot take part in a conversation of the most sincere and searching sort. In good company there is never such discourse between two, across the table, as takes place when you leave them open.''
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Friendship," Essays, First Series (1841, repr. 1847).
  • ''The merit of those who fill a space in the world's history, who are borne forward, as it were, by the weight of thousands whom they lead, shed a perfume less sweet than do the sacrifices of private virtue.''
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. Speech, September 12, 1835, on the occasion of the second centennial anniversary of the town of Concord. "Historical Discourse at Concord," Miscellanies (1883, repr. 1903).
  • ''Fashion, though in a strange way, represents all manly virtue. It is virtue gone to seed: it is a kind of posthumous honor. It does not often caress the great, but the children of the great: it is a hall of the Past.''
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Manners," Essays, Second Series (1844).
  • ''Nature is the symbol of the spirit.''
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. Nature, ch. 4 (1836, revised and repr. 1849).
  • ''Infancy is the perpetual Messiah, which comes into the arms of fallen men, and pleads with them to return to paradise.''
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. Nature, ch. 8 (1836, revised and repr. 1849).
  • ''Every man is actually weak, and apparently strong. To himself, he seems weak; to others, formidable.''
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Prudence," Essays, First Series (1841, repr. 1847).
  • ''What your heart thinks great is great. The soul's emphasis is always right.''
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Spiritual Laws," Essays, First Series (1841, repr. 1847).
  • ''Life is our dictionary.''
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. Oration, August 31, 1837, delivered before the Phi Beta Kappa Society, Cambridge, Massachusetts. "The American Scholar," repr. In Emerson: Essays and Lectures, ed. Joel Porte (1983).

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Best Poem of Ralph Waldo Emerson

Give All To Love

Give all to love;
Obey thy heart;
Friends, kindred, days,
Estate, good-fame,
Plans, credit, and the Muse,-
Nothing refuse.
'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,
Untold intent;
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,
Valor unbending;
It will reward,-
They shall return
More than they were,
And ever ascending.
Leave all for ...

Read the full of Give All To Love

Nemesis

Already blushes in thy cheek
The bosom-thought which thou must speak;
The bird, how far it haply roam
By cloud or isle, is flying home;
The maiden fears, and fearing runs
Into the charmed snare she shuns;
And every man, in love or pride,
Of his fate is never wide.

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