Ralph Waldo Emerson

(1803 - 1882 / Boston / United States)

Ralph Waldo Emerson Quotes

  • ''I—this thought which is called I—is the mould into which the world is poured like melted wax.''
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "The Transcendentalist," repr. in The Portable Emerson, ed. Carl Bode (1946, repr. 1981). Compare this with the wax motif in Descartes's Meditations.
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  • ''We need not fear excessive influence. A more generous trust is permitted. Serve the great. Stick at no humiliation. Grudge no office thou canst render. Be the limb of their body, the breath of their mouth. Compromise thy egotism.''
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Uses of Great Men," Representative Men (1850).
  • ''Life is unnecessarily long. Moments of insight, of fine personal relation, a smile, a glance,—what ample borrowers of eternity they are!''
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Works and Days," Society and Solitude (1870).
  • ''We must be as courteous to a man as we are to a picture, which we are willing to give the advantage of a good light.''
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Behavior," The Conduct of Life (1860).
  • ''Bad times have a scientific value. These are occasions a good learner would not miss.''
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Considerations by the Way," The Conduct of Life (1860).
  • ''It is noticed, that the consideration of the great periods and spaces of astronomy induces a dignity of mind, and an indifference to death.''
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Culture," The Conduct of Life (1860).
  • ''But it is impossible that the creative power should exclude itself. Into every intelligence there is a door which is never closed, through which the creator passes.''
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Experience," Essays, Second Series (1844).
  • ''The element running through entire nature, which we popularly call Fate, is known to us as limitation. Whatever limits us, we call Fate.''
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Fate," The Conduct of Life (1860).
  • ''If, at any time, it comes into my head, that a present is due from me to somebody, I am puzzled what to give, until the opportunity is gone.''
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Gifts," Essays, Second Series (1844).
  • ''All history becomes subjective; in other words there is properly no history, only biography.''
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "History," Essays, First Series (1841, repr. 1847).

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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

Terminus

It is time to be old,
To take in sail:--
The god of bounds,
Who sets to seas a shore,
Come to me in his fatal rounds,
And said: "No more!
No farther shoot
Thy broad ambitious branches, and thy root.
Fancy departs; no more invent;

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