Nonfiction > Verse > Ralph Waldo Emerson > The Complete Works > Poems
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Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803–1882).  The Complete Works.  1904.
Vol. IX. Poems
 
I. Poems
Sursum Corda
 
SEEK 1 not the spirit, if it hide
Inexorable to thy zeal:
Trembler, do not whine and chide:
Art thou not also real?
Stoop not then to poor excuse;        5
Turn on the accuser roundly; say,
‘Here am I, here will I abide
Forever to myself soothfast;
Go thou, sweet Heaven, or at thy pleasure stay!’
Already Heaven with thee its lot has cast,        10
For only it can absolutely deal.
 
Note 1. Mr. Emerson had reference in this title to the chanting by the priest, in the introduction to the celebration of the Mass, of the words Sursum Corda! (Up, hearts!) to the worshippers.
  The thought of this piece—the exaltation that comes with utter humility—did not find quite satisfactory utterance in the poem as printed in early editions, but in its present form he included it in Selected Poems. [back]
 
 
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