Verse > Anthologies > Ralph Waldo Emerson, ed. > Parnassus: An Anthology of Poetry
Ralph Waldo Emerson, comp. (1803–1882).  Parnassus: An Anthology of Poetry.  1880.
That Each Thing is Hurt of Itself
WHY fearest thou the outward foe,
  When thou thyself thy harm dost feed?
Of grief or hurt, of pain or woe,
  Within each thing is sown the seed.
So fine was never yet the cloth,        5
  No smith so hard his iron did beat,
But th’ one consumèd was with moth,
  Th’ other with canker all to-freate.
The knotty oak and wainscot old
  Within doth eat the silly worm;        10
Even so a mind in envy rolled
  Always within itself doth burn.
Thus every thing that nature wrought,
  Within itself his hurt doth bear!
No outward harm need to be sought,        15
  Where enemies be within so near.

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