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Daily Waldo at RWE.org Newsflashes

Birthday of Ralph Waldo Emerson

MAY TWENTY-FIFTH

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO RALPH WALDO EMERSON, MAY 25, 1803
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Once again Emerson wrestles with formulating the concept of ‘the one in the many, the many in the one,’ the Hindu principle enunciated in the Bhagavad Gita, which he was reading – – – and re-reading

Who shall define to me an Individual? I behold with awe & delight many illustrations of the One Universal mind. I see my being imbedded in it. As a plant in the earth so I grow in God. I am only a form of him. He is the soul of Me. I can even with a mountainous aspiring say, I am God, by transferring me out of the flimsy & unclean precincts of my body, my fortunes, my private will; & meekly retiring upon the holy austerities of the Just & the Loving — upon the secret fountains of Nature. That thin & difficult ether, I can also breathe. The mortal lungs & nostrils burst & shrivel, but the soul itself needeth no organs – it is all element & all organ. Yet why not always so? How came the Individual thus armed and impassioned to parricide, thus murderously inclined ever to traverse & kill the divine life? Ah wicked Manichee! Into that dim problem I cannot enter. A believer in unity, a seer of Unity, I yet behold two.

A Year With Emerson
A Year With Emerson by Richard Grossman
by Richard Grossman
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Complete Works of RWE IX - Poems

GOOD-BYE

I

GOOD-BYE, proud world! I’m going home:
Thou art not my friend, and I’m not thine.
Long through thy weary crowds I roam;
A river-ark on the ocean brine,
Long I’ve been tossed like the driven foam;
But now, proud world! I’m going home.

Good-bye to Flattery’s fawning face;
To Grandeur with his wise grimace;
To upstart Wealth’s averted eye;
To supple Office, low and high;
To crowded halls, to court and street;
To frozen hearts and hasting feet;
To those who go, and those who come;
Good-bye, proud world! I’m going home.

I am going to my own hearth-stone,
Bosomed in yon green hills alone,–
A secret nook in a pleasant land,
Whose groves the frolic fairies planned;
Where arches green, the livelong day,
Echo the blackbird’s roundelay,
And vulgar feet have never trod
A spot that is sacred to thought and God.

O, when I am safe in my sylvan home,
I tread on the pride of Greece and Rome;
And when I am stretched beneath the pines,
Where the evening star so holy shines,
I laugh at the lore and the pride of man,
At the sophist schools and the learned clan;
For what are they all, in their high conceit,
When man in the bush with God may meet?