Poem of the Day Project: “Give All To Love” by Ralph Waldo Emerson

My favorite image search result for this poem

 

Give all to love:

Obey thy heart;

Friends, kindred, days,

Estate, good-fame,

Plans, credit and the Muse, —

Nothing refuse.

 

‘T is a brave master;

Let it have scope:

Follow it utterly,

Hope beyond hope:

High and more high

 

It dives into noon,

With wing unspent,

Untold intent;

But it is a god,

Knows its own path

And the outlets of the sky.

 

It was never for the mean;

It requireth courage stout.

Souls above doubt,

Valor unbending,

It will reward, —

They shall return

More than they were,

And ever ascending.

 

Leave all for love;

Yet, hear me, yet,

One word more thy heart behoved,

One pulse more of form endeavor, —

Keep thee to-day,

To-morrow, forever,

Free as an Arab

Of thy beloved.

 

Cling with life to the maid;

But when the surprise,

First vague shadow of surmise

Flits across her bosom young,

Of a joy apart from thee,

Free be she, fancy-free;

Nor thou detain her vesture’s hem,

Nor the palest rose she flung

From her summer diadem.

 

Though thou loved her as thyself,

As a self of purer clay,

Though her parting dims they day,

Stealing grace from all alive;

Heartily know,

When half-gods go,

The gods arrive.

(Disclaimer: I’m basing my poem choices on those I understand to be in the public domain. If I’ve made a mistake – which is very possible – and you own the copyright to a poem I have posted please e-mail me at igetabitobsessive@gmail.com and I will take the post down immediately.)

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