N O V E M B E R 1 8 5 7
FOUR POEMSby Ralph Waldo Emerson
THE ROMMANY GIRLThe sun goes down, and with him takes
The coarseness of my poor attire;
The fair moon mounts, and aye the flame
Of gypsy beauty blazes higher.
Pale northern girls! you scorn our race;
And if I take you, dames, to task,
If, on the heath, under the moon,
Go, keep your cheek's rose from the rain,
The wild air bloweth in our lungs,
You doubt we read the stars on high,
THE CHARTIST'S COMPLAINTDay! hast thou two faces,
Making one place two places?
One, by humble farmer seen,
Chill and wet, unlighted, mean,
Useful only, triste and damp,
Serving for a laborer's lamp?
Have the same mists another side,
To be the appanage of pride,
Gracing the rich man's wood and lake,
His park where amber mornings break,
And treacherously bright to show
His planted isle where roses glow?
O Day! and is your mightiness
A sycophant to smug success?
Will the sweet sky and ocean broad
Be fine accomplices to fraud?
O sun! I curse thy cruel ray!
Back, back to chaos, harlot Day!
DAYSDaughters of Time, the hypocritic Days,
Muffled and dumb, like barefoot dervishes,
And marching single in an endless file,
Bring diadems and fagots in their hands.
To each they offer gifts, after his will,--
Bread, kingdoms, stars, or sky that holds them all.
I, in my pleached garden, watched the pomp,
Forgot my morning wishes, hastily
Took a few herbs and apples, and the Day
Turned and departed silent. I, too late,
Under her solemn fillet saw the scorn.
BRAHMAIf the red slayer think he slays,
Or if the slain think he is slain,
They know not well the subtle ways
I keep, and pass, and turn again.
Far or forgot to me is near,
They reckon ill who leave me out;
The strong gods pine for my abode,
The Atlantic Monthly; November 1857; Four Poems by Ralph Waldo Emerson; Volume 1, No. 1; pages 46-48.