Nonfiction > Verse > Ralph Waldo Emerson > The Complete Works > Poems
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803–1882).  The Complete Works.  1904.
Vol. IX. Poems
VI. Poems of Youth and Early Manhood (1823–1834)
Lines to Ellen
TELL 1 me, maiden, dost thou use
Thyself thro’ Nature to diffuse?
All the angles of the coast
Were tenanted by thy sweet ghost,
Bore thy colors every flower,        5
Thine each leaf and berry bore;
All wore thy badges and thy favors
In their scent or in their savors,
Every moth with painted wing,
Every bird in carolling,        10
The wood-boughs with thy manners waved,
The rocks uphold thy name engraved,
The sod throbbed friendly to my feet,
And the sweet air with thee was sweet.
The saffron cloud that floated warm        15
Studied thy motion, took thy form,
And in his airy road benign
Recalled thy skill in bold design,
Or seemed to use his privilege
To gaze o’er the horizon’s edge,        20
To search where now thy beauty glowed,
Or made what other purlieus proud.

Note 1. A year from the time when he first saw Miss Tucker, Mr. Emerson again went to Concord, New Hampshire, and soon after became engaged to her. [back]

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