Nonfiction > E.C. Stedman & E.M. Hutchinson, eds. > A Library of American Literature > 1835–1860
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Stedman and Hutchinson, comps.  A Library of American Literature:
An Anthology in Eleven Volumes.  1891.
Vols. VI–VIII: Literature of the Republic, Part III., 1835–1860
 
Mithridates
By Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803–1882)
 
[From Poems. Revised Edition. Edited by J. E. Cabot. 1884.]

I CANNOT spare water or wine,
  Tobacco-leaf, or poppy, or rose:
From the earth-poles to the line,
  All between that works or grows,
Everything is kin of mine.        5
 
Give me agates for my meat;
Give me cantharids to eat;
From air and ocean bring me foods,
From all zones and altitudes;—
 
From all natures, sharp and slimy,        10
  Salt and basalt, wild and tame:
Tree and lichen, ape, sea-lion,
  Bird and reptile, be my game.
 
Ivy for my fillet band;
Blinding dog-wood in my hand;        15
Hemlock for my sherbet cull me;
And the prussic juice to lull me;
Swing me in the upas boughs,
Vampyre-fanned, when I carouse.
 
Too long shut in strait and few,        20
Thinly dieted on dew,
I will use the world, and sift it,
To a thousand humors shift it,
As you spin a cherry.
O doleful ghosts, and goblins merry!        25
O all you virtues, methods, mights,
Means, appliances, delights,
Reputed wrongs and braggart rights,
Smug routine, and things allowed,
Minorities, things under cloud!        30
Hither! take me, use me, fill me,
Vein and artery, though ye kill me!
 
 
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