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
The House
 
THERE 1 is no architect
  Can build as the Muse can;
She is skilful to select
  Materials for her plan;
 
Slow and warily to choose        5
  Rafters of immortal pine,
Or cedar incorruptible,
  Worthy her design,
 
She threads dark Alpine forests
  Or valleys by the sea,        10
In many lands, with painful steps,
  Ere she can find a tree.
 
She ransacks mines and ledges
  And quarries every rock,
To hew the famous adamant        15
  For each eternal block—
 
She lays her beams in music,
  In music every one,
To the cadence of the whirling world
  Which dances round the sun—        20
 
That so they shall not be displaced
  By lapses or by wars,
But for the love of happy souls
  Outlive the newest stars.
 
Note 1. “The House,” though not restored to the Poems by Mr. Cabot in the Riverside Edition, among others that had that fortune, is restored by the present editor for the charm of its last two verses, although it was not included by Mr. Emerson among the Selected Poems. [back]
 
 
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