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
 
II. May-Day and Other Pieces
Nemesis
 
ALREADY 1 blushes on thy cheek
The bosom thought which thou must speak;
The bird, how far it haply roam
By cloud or isle, is flying home;
The maiden fears, and fearing runs        5
Into the charmed snare she shuns;
And every man, in love or pride,
Of his fate is never wide.
 
Will a woman’s fan the ocean smooth?
Or prayers the stony Parcæ soothe,        10
Or coax the thunder from its mark?
Or tapers light the chaos dark?
In spite of Virtue and the Muse,
Nemesis will have her dues,
And all our struggles and our toils        15
Tighter wind the giant coils.
 
Note 1. This poem, from May-Day, called “Destiny” in the verse-books, is here restored. [back]
 
 
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