The Complete Works of Ralph Waldo Emerson: With a Biographical Introduction and Notes, Volume 3

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Riverside Press, 1904
 

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Page 11 - Man, never so often deceived, still watches for the arrival of a brother who can hold him steady to a truth until he has made it his own. With what joy I begin to read a poem which I confide in as an inspiration ! And now my chains are to be broken ; I shall mount above these clouds and opaque airs in which I live, — opaque, though they seem transparent, — and from the heaven of truth I shall see and comprehend my relations.
Page 332 - Great is the art, Great be the manners, of the bard. He shall not his brain encumber With the coil of rhythm and number; But, leaving rule and pale forethought, He shall aye climb For his rhyme. "Pass in, pass in," the angels say, "In to the upper doors, Nor count compartments of the floors, But mount to paradise By the stairway of surprise.
Page 7 - The poet is the sayer, the namer, and represents beauty. He is a sovereign, and stands on the centre. For the world is not painted, or adorned, but is from the beginning beautiful ; and God has not made some beautiful things, but Beauty is the creator of the universe.
Page 6 - The poet is the person in whom these powers are in balance, the man without impediment, who sees and handles that which others dream of, traverses the whole scale of experience, and is representative of man, in virtue of being the largest power to receive and to impart.
Page 20 - As the eyes of Lyncasus were said to see through the earth, so the poet turns the world to glass, and shows us all things in their right series and procession. For through that better perception he stands one step nearer to things, and sees the flowing or metamorphosis...
Page 42 - And this is the reward ; that the ideal shall be real to thee, and the impressions of the actual world shall fall like summer rain, copious, but not troublesome to thy invulnerable essence.
Page 6 - Yet, in our experience, the rays or appulses have sufficient force to arrive at the senses, but not enough to reach the quick, and compel the reproduction of themselves in speech.
Page 8 - ... written before time was, and whenever we are so finely organized that we can penetrate into that region where the air is music, we hear those primal warblings and attempt to write them down, but we lose ever and anon a word or a verse and substitute something of our own, and thus miswrite the poem. The men of more delicate ear write down these cadences more faithfully, and these transcripts, though imperfect, become the songs of the nations.
Page 206 - ... idea, was also relatively right. But our institutions, though in coincidence with the spirit of the age, have not any exemption from the practical defects which have discredited other forms. Every actual State is corrupt. Good men must not obey the laws too well. What satire on government can equal the severity of censure conveyed in the word politic, which now for ages has signified cunning, intimating that the State is a trick ? The same benign necessity and the same practical abuse appear...
Page 57 - To fill the hour — that is happiness; to fill the hour and leave no crevice for a repentance or an approval. We live amid surfaces, and the true art of life is to skate well on them.

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