Sunday, January 09, 2005

The poem ÉTTIENE DE LA BOÈCE by Ralph Waldo Emerson c. 1833


I serve you not, if you I follow,
Shadowlike, o'er hill and hollow;
And bend my fancy to your leading,
All too nimble for my treading.
When the pilgimage is done,
And we've the landscape overrun,
I am bitter, vacant, thwarted,
And your heart is unsupported.
Vainly valiant, you have missed
The manhood that should yours resist, -
Its complement; but if I could,
In severe or cordial mood,
Lead you rightly to my altar,
Where the wisest Muses falter,
And worship that world-warming spark,
Which dazzles me in midnight dark,
Equalising small and large,
While the soul it doth surcharge,
Till the poor is wealthy grown,
And the hermit is never alone, -
The traveller and the road seem one
With the errand to be done, -
That were a man and lover's part,
That were Freedom's whitest chart.

- Ralph Waldo Emerson (c. 1833)