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Ralph Waldo Emerson
1803-1882


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Fable

NATURE I (A subtle chain of countless rings)
NATURE II (The rounded world is fair to see)
Hast thou named all the birds without a gun?

Fable

The mountain and the squirrel
Had a quarrel,
And the former called the latter "Little Prig".
Bun replied:
"You are doubtless very big;
But all sorts of things and weather
Must be taken in together
To make up a year
And sphere.
And I think it no disgrace
To occupy my place.
If i'm not so large as you
You are not so small as I
And not half so spry.
I'll not deny you make
A very pretty squirrel track;
Talents differ; all is well and wisely put;
If I cannot carry forests on my back,
Neither can you crack a nut".


NATURE I

A subtle chain of countless rings
The next unto the farthest brings;
The eye reads omens where it goes,
And speaks all languages the rose;
And, striving to be man, the worm
Mounts through all the spires of form.


NATURE II

The rounded world is fair to see,
Nine times folded in mystery:
Though baffled seers cannot impart
The secret of its labouring heart,
Throb thine with Nature's throbbing breast,
And all is clear from east to west.
Spirit that lurks each form within
Beckons to spirit of its kin;
Self-kindled every atom glows,
And hints the future which it owes.


Hast thou named all the birds without a gun?
Loved the wood-rose, and left it on a stalk?
At rich menís tables eaten bread and pulse?
Unarmed, faced danger with a heart of trust?
And loved so well a high behavior,
In man or maid, that thou from speech refrained,
Nobility more nobly to repay?
O, be my friend, and teach me to be thine!

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© 2000 Elena and Yacov Feldman