Ralph Waldo Emerson

(1803 - 1882 / Boston / United States)

Ralph Waldo Emerson Quotes

  • ''Do not require a description of the countries towards which you sail. The description does not describe them to you, and to- morrow you arrive there, and know them by inhabiting them.''
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "The Over-Soul," Essays, First Series (1841).
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  • ''Every thing admonishes us how needlessly long life is.''
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. Speech, January 1842, at the Masonic Temple in Boston, repr. In The Dial (1843) and Nature, Addresses, and Lectures (1849). "The Transcendentalist," repr. in The Portable Emerson, ed. Carl Bode (1946, repr. 1981).
  • ''The world is upheld by the veracity of good men: they make the earth wholesome. They who lived with them found life glad and nutritious. Life is sweet and tolerable only in our belief in such society.''
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Uses of Great Men," ch. 1, Representative Men (1850).
  • ''An old French sentence says, "God works in moments,"M"En peu d'heure Dieu labeure." We ask for long life, but 't is deep life, or grand moments, that signify. Let the measure of time be spiritual, not mechanical.''
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Works and Days," Society and Solitude (1870).
  • ''The use of literature is to afford us a platform whence we may command a view of our present life, a purchase by which we may move it.''
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Circles," Essays, First Series (1841, repr. 1847).
  • ''There are other measures of self-respect for a man, than the number of clean shirts he puts on every day.''
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Considerations by the Way," The Conduct of Life (1860).
  • ''The most attractive class of people are those who are powerful obliquely, and not by the direct stroke: men of genius, but not yet accredited: one gets the cheer of their light, without paying too great a tax.''
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Experience," Essays, Second Series (1844).
  • ''There are men whose manners have the same essential splendor as the simple and awful sculpture on the friezes of the Parthenon, and the remains of the earliest Greek art.''
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "History," Essays, First Series (1841).
  • ''If I should go out of church whenever I hear a false statement I could never stay there five minutes. But why come out? The street is as false as the church, and when I get to my house, or to my manners, or to my speech, I have not got away from the lie.''
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. Lecture, March 3, 1884, in Amory Hall, Boston, Massachusetts. "New England Reformers," Essays, Second Series (1844).
  • ''If we tire of the saints, Shakspeare is our city of refuge.''
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Swedenborg; or, the Mystic," Representative Men (1850).

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Best Poem of Ralph Waldo Emerson

Fate

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;
Unknown to him as to his horse,
If he than his groom be better or worse.
He works, plots, fights, in rude affairs,
With squires, lords, kings, his craft compares,
Till late he learned, through doubt and fear,
Broad England harbored not his peer:
Obeying time, the last to own
The Genius from its cloudy throne.
For the prevision is allied
Unto the thing so signified;
Or say, the foresight that awaits
Is...

Read the full of Fate

Eros

The sense of the world is short, -
Long and various the report, -
To love and be beloved;
Men and gods have not outlearned it;
And, how oft soe'er they've turned it,
'Tis not to be improved.

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