Poem Ralph Waldo Emerson

James Russell Lowell

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As I left my door,
The muse came by,
Said, “Whither away?”
I, well-pleased to praise myself,
And in such presence raise myself,
Replied, ‘To keep thy bards birthday’
— “O happy morn! o happy eve!” —
The muse rejoined, “And dost thou weave
For noble night a noble rhyme,
And up to song through friendship climb?
For every guest
Ere he can rest
Plucks for my son or flower or fruit
In sign of Nature’s glad salute.”

— ‘Alas! thou know’st,
Dearest muse, I cannot boast
Of any grace from thee:
To thy spare bounty, queen, thou ow’st,
No verse will flow from me.
Beside, the bard himself, profuse
In thy accomplishment,
Does Comedy & Lyric use,
And to thy sisters all too dear,
Too gifted, than that he can chuse
To raise an eyebrow’s hint severe
On the toiling good intention
Of ill-equipped incomprehension.’

“The bard is loyal,”
Said the queen
With haughtier mien,
“And hear thou this, my mandate royal:
Instant to the Sibyl’s chair,
To the Delphic maid repair,
He has reached the middle date
Stars tonight that culminate
Shed beams fair & fortunate:
Go inquire his horoscope,
Half of memory, half of hope.”

The Sparrow is Rich in Her Nest
From Paques to Noel


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