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Best Famous Ralph Waldo Emerson Poems

Here is a collection of the all-time best famous Ralph Waldo Emerson poems. This is a select list of the best famous Ralph Waldo Emerson poetry. Reading, writing, and enjoying famous Ralph Waldo Emerson poetry (as well as classical and contemporary poems) is a great past time. These top poems are the best examples of Ralph Waldo Emerson poems.

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by Ralph Waldo Emerson | |

Concord Hymn

By the rude bridge that arched the flood, 
Their flag to April's breeze unfurled, 
Here once the embattled farmers stood, 
And fired the shot heard round the world.
The foe long since in silence slept; Alike the conqueror silent sleeps; And Time the ruined bridge has swept Down the dark stream which seaward creeps.
On this green bank, by this soft stream, We set to-day a votive stone; That memory may their deed redeem, When, like our sires, our sons are gone.
Spirit, that made those heroes dare To die, and leave their children free, Bid Time and Nature gently spare The shaft we raise to them and thee.


by Ralph Waldo Emerson | |

Days

DAUGHTERS of Time the hypocritic Days  
Muffled and dumb like barefoot dervishes  
And marching single in an endless file  
Bring diadems and fagots in their hands.
To each they offer gifts after his will 5 Bread kingdoms stars and sky that holds them all.
I in my pleach¨¨d garden watched the pomp Forgot my morning wishes hastily Took a few herbs and apples and the Day Turned and departed silent.
I too late 10 Under her solemn fillet saw the scorn.


by Ralph Waldo Emerson | |

Sacrifice

THOUGH love repine and reason chafe  
There came a voice without reply ¡ª 
'T is man's perdition to be safe, 
When for the truth he ought to die.


by Ralph Waldo Emerson | |

The Rhodora - On Being Asked Whence Is the Flower

IN May, when sea-winds pierced our solitudes, 
I found the fresh Rhodora in the woods, 
Spreading its leafless blooms in a damp nook, 
To please the desert and the sluggish brook.
The purple petals, fallen in the pool, 5 Made the black water with their beauty gay; Here might the red-bird come his plumes to cool, And court the flower that cheapens his array.
Rhodora! if the sages ask thee why This charm is wasted on the earth and sky, 10 Tell them, dear, that if eyes were made for seeing, Then Beauty is its own excuse for being: Why thou wert there, O rival of the rose! I never thought to ask, I never knew: But, in my simple ignorance, suppose 15 The self-same Power that brought me there brought you.


by Ralph Waldo Emerson | |

To Eva

O FAIR and stately maid whose eyes 
Were kindled in the upper skies 
At the same torch that lighted mine; 
For so I must interpret still 
Thy sweet dominion o'er my will 5 
A sympathy divine.
Ah! let me blameless gaze upon Features that seem at heart my own; Nor fear those watchful sentinels Who charm the more their glance forbids 10 Chaste-glowing underneath their lids With fire that draws while it repels.


by Ralph Waldo Emerson | |

Borrowing

From the French


SOME of the hurts you have cured  
And the sharpest you still have survived  
But what torments of grief you endured 
From evils which never arrived! 


by Ralph Waldo Emerson | |

Brahma

IF the red slayer think he slays  
Or if the slain think he is slain  
They know not well the subtle ways 
I keep and pass and turn again.
Far or forgot to me is near; 5 Shadow and sunlight are the same; The vanished gods to me appear; And one to me are shame and fame.
They reckon ill who leave me out; When me they fly I am the wings; 10 I am the doubter and the doubt And I the hymn the Brahmin sings.
The strong gods pine for my abode And pine in vain the sacred Seven; But thou meek lover of the good! 15 Find me and turn thy back on heaven.


by Ralph Waldo Emerson | |

Fable

THE MOUNTAIN and the squirrel 
Had a quarrel; 
And the former called the latter "Little Prig.
" Bun replied You are doubtless very big; 5 But all sorts of things and weather Must be taken in together, To make up a year And a sphere.
And I think it no disgrace 10 To occupy my place.
If I'm not as large as you, You are not so small as I, And not half so spry.
I'll not deny you make 15 A very pretty squirrel track; Talents differ; all is well and wisely put; If I cannot carry forests on my back, Neither can you crack a nut.


by Ralph Waldo Emerson | |

Heri Cras Hodie

SHINES the last age the next with hope is seen  
To-day slinks poorly off unmarked between: 
Future or Past no richer secret folds  
O friendless Present! than thy bosom holds.


by Ralph Waldo Emerson | |

Poet

TO clothe the fiery thought 
In simple words succeeds  
For still the craft of genius is 
To mask a king in weeds.


by Ralph Waldo Emerson | |

Shakespeare

I SEE all human wits 
Are measured but a few; 
Unmeasured still my Shakespeare sits  
Lone as the blessed Jew.


by Ralph Waldo Emerson | |

FATE

 Fate is above me.
Why should I browse? Sleeping in dosses, an outcast, I rove.
Grief is a cellar, that opens in every old house.
A ditch is below me and fate is above.
What did I want? Well, a life of contentment.
What did I get? Just a coffin and wreath.
.
.
Under the cradle a grave has been latent.
Fate is above me, a ditch is beneath.
Up in the sky my soul, like a hound, howls, despaired, the trigger to pull it was keen.
Fate has come over my family background, and on the earth where fate is my kin.
What have I done, apart from the simple poems I've written in passing to date? I've been a lightening conductor for people.
Now I have broken my back.
Such is fate.
© Copyright Alec Vagapov's translation


by Ralph Waldo Emerson | |

Dirge

 COME away, come away, death, 
 And in sad cypres let me be laid; 
Fly away, fly away, breath; 
 I am slain by a fair cruel maid.
My shroud of white, stuck all with yew, O prepare it! My part of death, no one so true Did share it.
Not a flower, not a flower sweet, On my black coffin let there be strown; Not a friend, not a friend greet My poor corse, where my bones shall be thrown: A thousand thousand sighs to save, Lay me, O, where Sad true lover never find my grave To weep there!


by Ralph Waldo Emerson | |

Dirge

 Boys and girls that held her dear,
Do your weeping now;
All you loved of her lies here.
Brought to earth the arrogant brow, And the withering tongue Chastened; do your weeping now.
Sing whatever songs are sung, Wind whatever wreath, For a playmate perished young, For a spirit spent in death.
Boys and girls that held her dear, All you loved of her lies here.


by Ralph Waldo Emerson | |

Threnody

 Lilacs blossom just as sweet
Now my heart is shattered.
If I bowled it down the street, Who's to say it mattered? If there's one that rode away What would I be missing? Lips that taste of tears, they say, Are the best for kissing.
Eyes that watch the morning star Seem a little brighter; Arms held out to darkness are Usually whiter.
Shall I bar the strolling guest, Bind my brow with willow, When, they say, the empty breast Is the softer pillow? That a heart falls tinkling down, Never think it ceases.
Every likely lad in town Gathers up the pieces.
If there's one gone whistling by Would I let it grieve me? Let him wonder if I lie; Let him half believe me.


by Ralph Waldo Emerson | |

The Apology

 Think me not unkind and rude,
That I walk alone in grove and glen;
I go to the god of the wood
To fetch his word to men.
Tax not my sloth that I Fold my arms beside the brook; Each cloud that floated in the sky Writes a letter in my book.
Chide me not, laborious band, For the idle flowers I brought; Every aster in my hand Goes home loaded with a thought.
There was never mystery, But 'tis figured in the flowers, Was never secret history, But birds tell it in the bowers.
One harvest from thy field Homeward brought the oxen strong; A second crop thine acres yield, Which I gather in a song.


by Ralph Waldo Emerson | |

Loss And Gain

 Virtue runs before the muse
And defies her skill,
She is rapt, and doth refuse
To wait a painter's will.
Star-adoring, occupied, Virtue cannot bend her, Just to please a poet's pride, To parade her splendor.
The bard must be with good intent No more his, but hers, Throw away his pen and paint, Kneel with worshippers.
Then, perchance, a sunny ray From the heaven of fire, His lost tools may over-pay, And better his desire.


by Ralph Waldo Emerson | |

Two Rivers

 Thy summer voice, Musketaquit, 
Repeats the music of the rain; 
But sweeter rivers pulsing flit 
Through thee, as thou through the Concord Plain.
Thou in thy narrow banks art pent: The stream I love unbounded goes Through flood and sea and firmament; Through light, through life, it forward flows.
I see the inundation sweet, I hear the spending of the steam Through years, through men, through Nature fleet, Through love and thought, through power and dream.
Musketaquit, a goblin strong, Of shard and flint makes jewels gay; They lose their grief who hear his song, And where he winds is the day of day.
So forth and brighter fares my stream,-- Who drink it shall not thirst again; No darkness taints its equal gleam, And ages drop in it like rain.


by Ralph Waldo Emerson | |

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.


by Ralph Waldo Emerson | |

The Amulet

 Your picture smiles as first it smiled,
The ring you gave is still the same,
Your letter tells, O changing child,
No tidings since it came.
Give me an amulet That keeps intelligence with you, Red when you love, and rosier red, And when you love not, pale and blue.
Alas, that neither bonds nor vows Can certify possession; Torments me still the fear that love Died in its last expression.