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.
 
Lines Written in a Lady’s Album below the Autograph of John Adams
By Daniel Webster (1782–1852)
 
DEAR lady, I a little fear
’Tis dangerous to be writing here.
His hand who bade our eagle fly,
Trust his young wings, and mount the sky,—
Who bade across the Atlantic tide        5
New thunders sweep, new navies ride,
Has traced in lines of trembling age
His autograph upon this page.
Higher than that eagle soars,
Wider than that thunder roars,        10
His fame shall through the world be sounding,
And o’er the waves of time be bounding.
Though thousands as obscure as I,
Cling to his skirts, he still will fly
And leap to immortality.        15
If by his name I write my own,
He’ll take me where I am not known,
The cold salute will meet my ear,
“Pray, stranger, how did you come here?”
 
 
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