Verse > Anthologies > Ralph Waldo Emerson, ed. > Parnassus: An Anthology of Poetry
Ralph Waldo Emerson, comp. (1803–1882).  Parnassus: An Anthology of Poetry.  1880.
By Various Authors
THERE is a mystery in the soul of state,
Which hath an operation more divine
Than breath or pen can give expression to.
THERE is a history in all men’s lives,
Figuring the nature of the times deceased;        5
The which observed a man may prophesy,
With a near aim of the main chance of things
As yet not come to life, which in their seeds,
And weak beginnings, lie intreasured.
THERE is a tide in the affairs of men,        10
Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune;
Omitted, all the voyage of their life
Is bound in shallows, and in miseries.
Shakespeare: Julius Cæsar.    
KNOWING the Heart of Man is set to be
The centre of this world, about the which        15
These revolutions of disturbances
Still roll; where all the aspects of misery
Predominate; whose strong effects are such
As he must bear, being helpless to redress:
And that, unless above himself he can        20
Erect himself, how poor a thing is man!
THE RECLUSE Hermit ofttimes more doth know
Of the world’s inmost wheels, than worldlings can;
As man is of the world, the Heart of man
Is an epitome of God’s great book        25
Of creatures, and men need no farther look.
O HOW feeble is man’s power,
  That, if good fortune fall,
Cannot add another hour,
  Nor a lost hour recall;        30
But, come bad chance,
  And we join to it our strength,
And we teach it art and length,
  Itself o’er us to advance.
IF men be worlds, there is in every one        35
Something to answer in proportion
All the world’s riches: and in good men this
Virtue our form’s form, and our soul’s soul is.

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