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The Rhodora

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Painting and Sculpture
The Park
The Problem
The Rhodora
Saadi
The Snow-Storm
Sphynx
"Sursum Corda"
"Suum Cuique"
Tact
Threnody
To Ellen, At the South
To Eva
To J.W.
To Rhea
Uriel
The Visit
Wood Notes I
Wood Notes II
The World-Soul
Xenophanes


Texts : Early Emerson Poems : Emerson Poems: P-Z : THE RHODORA
A selection of Ralph Waldo Emerson's writings for searching and browsing

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
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,
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
The self-same power that brought me there, brought you.

from: Emerson, Ralph Waldo.  Early Poems of Ralph Waldo Emerson. New York, Boston, Thomas Y. Crowell & Company: 1899. Introduction by Nathan Haskell Dole. 

Home ] Up ] Painting and Sculpture ] The Park ] The Problem ] [ The Rhodora ] Saadi ] The Snow-Storm ] Sphynx ] "Sursum Corda" ] "Suum Cuique" ] Tact ] Threnody ] To Ellen, At the South ] To Eva ] To J.W. ] To Rhea ] Uriel ] The Visit ] Wood Notes I ] Wood Notes II ] The World-Soul ] Xenophanes ] Emerson Poems: A-C ] Emerson Poems: D-G ] Emerson Poems: H-O ] Emerson Poems: P-Z ]

 
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