Nonfiction > Verse > Ralph Waldo Emerson > The Complete Works > Poems
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803–1882).  The Complete Works.  1904.
Vol. IX. Poems
I. Poems
Written by Ellen Louisa Tucker Shortly before Her Marriage to Mr. Emerson

LOVE 1 scatters oil
  On Life’s dark sea,
Sweetens its toil—
  Our helmsman he.
Around him hover        5
  Odorous clouds;
Under this cover
  His arrows he shrouds.
The cloud was around me,
  I knew not why        10
Such sweetness crowned me,
  While Time shot by.
No pain was within,
  But calm delight,
Like a world without sin,        15
  Or a day without night.
The shafts of the god
  Were tipped with down,
For they drew no blood,
  And they knit no frown.        20
I knew of them not
  Until Cupid laughed loud,
And saying “You ’re caught!”
  Flew off in the cloud.
O then I awoke,        25
  And I lived but to sigh,
Till a clear voice spoke,—
  And my tears are dry.
Note 1. Besides the preceding poem, Mr. Emerson contributed to the first number of the Dial two poems which had sad and tender memories for him. These were his brilliant and loved brother Edward’s “Last Farewell” to home and friends when he sailed for Porto Rico, where he died in 1831, and Ellen Tucker’s poem written during her engagement. In the Dial it bore simply the heading, “Lines.” [back]

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