Verse > Anthologies > Ralph Waldo Emerson, ed. > Parnassus: An Anthology of Poetry
Ralph Waldo Emerson, comp. (1803–1882).  Parnassus: An Anthology of Poetry.  1880.
A Drop of Dew
By Andrew Marvell (1621–1678)
  SEE how the orient dew,
Shed from the bosom of the morn
    Into the blowing roses,
  (Yet careless of its mansion new,
For the clear region where ’twas born,)        5
    Round in itself encloses
  And, in its little globe’s extent,
Frames, as it can, its native element.
  How it the purple flower does slight,
    Scarce touching where it lies,        10
  But gazing back upon the skies,
    Shines with a mournful light,
        Like its own tear,
Because so long divided from the sphere.
  Restless it rolls, and insecure,        15
    Trembling, lest it grow impure;
  Till the warm sun pities its pain,
And to the skies exhales it back again.
    So the soul, that drop, that ray,
  Of the clear fountain of eternal day,        20
  Could it within the human flower be seen,
    Remembering still its former height,
  Shuns the sweet leaves, and blossoms green,
  And, recollecting its own light,
Does, in its pure and circling thoughts, express        25
The greater heaven in a heaven less.
    In how coy a figure wound,
    Every way it turns away,
    So the world excluding round,
    Yet receiving in the day,        30
    Dark beneath, but bright above,
    Here disdaining, there in love.
    How loose and easy hence to go;
    How girt and ready to ascend;
    Moving but on a point below,        35
    It all about does upwards bend.
Such did the manna’s sacred dew distil,
White and entire, although congealed and chill;
Congealed on earth; but does, dissolving, run
Into the glories of the almighty sun.        40

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