Verse > Anthologies > Ralph Waldo Emerson, ed. > Parnassus: An Anthology of Poetry
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Ralph Waldo Emerson, comp. (1803–1882).  Parnassus: An Anthology of Poetry.  1880.
 
The Earth-Spirit
By William Ellery Channing (1818–1901)
 
  I HAVE woven shrouds of air
    In a loom of hurrying light,
  For the trees which blossoms bear,
    And gilded them with sheets of bright;
I fall upon the grass like love’s first kiss;        5
I make the golden flies and their fine bliss;
I paint the hedgerows in the lane,
And clover white and red the pathways bear;
I laugh aloud in sudden gusts of rain
To see the ocean lash himself in air;        10
I throw smooth shells and weeds along the beach,
And pour the curling waves far o’er the glossy reach;
Swing birds’ nests in the elms, and shake cool moss
Along the aged beams, and hide their loss.
The very broad rough stones I gladden too;        15
Some willing seeds I drop along their sides,
Nourish the generous plant with freshening dew,
Till there where all was waste, true joy abides.
The peaks of aged mountains, with my care
Smile in the red of glowing morn elate;        20
I bind the caverns of the sea with hair,
Glossy, and long, and rich as kings’ estate;
I polish the green ice, and gleam the wall
With the white frost, and leaf the brown trees tall.
 
 
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