Verse > Anthologies > Ralph Waldo Emerson, ed. > Parnassus: An Anthology of Poetry
Ralph Waldo Emerson, comp. (1803–1882).  Parnassus: An Anthology of Poetry.  1880.
Sonnet: ‘Alas! what boots the long’
By William Wordsworth (1770–1850)
ALAS! what boots the long, laborious quest
Of moral prudence, sought through good and ill;
Or pains abstruse, to elevate the will,
And lead us on to that transcendent rest
Where every passion shall the sway attest        5
Of Reason, seated on her sovereign hill?
What is it but a vain and curious skill,
If sapient Germany must lie depressed
Beneath the brutal sword? Her haughty schools
Shall blush; and may not we with sorrow say,        10
A few strong instincts and a few plain rules,
Among the herdsmen of the Alps, have wrought
More for mankind at this unhappy day,
Than all the pride of intellect and thought.
Click here to shop the Bartleby Bookstore.

Shakespeare · Bible · Strunk · Anatomy · Nonfiction · Quotations · Reference · Fiction · Poetry
© 1993–2015 · [Top 150] · Subjects · Titles · Authors