Nonfiction > Verse > Ralph Waldo Emerson > The Complete Works > Poems
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803–1882).  The Complete Works.  1904.
Vol. IX. Poems
I. Poems
The Apology
THINK 1 me not unkind and rude
  That I walk alone in grove and glen;
I go to the god of the wood
  To fetch his word to men.
Tax not my sloth that I        5
  Fold my arms beside the brook;
Each cloud that floated in the sky
  Writes a letter in my book.
Chide me not, laborious band,
  For the idle flowers I brought;        10
Every aster in my hand
  Goes home loaded with a thought.
There was never mystery
  But ’t is figured in the flowers;
Was never secret history        15
  But birds tell it in the bowers.
One harvest from thy field
  Homeward brought the oxen strong;
A second crop thine acres yield,
  Which I gather in a song.        20
Note 1. This poem belongs to the early period of its author’s Concord life. “May-Day” and the other poems of the later period, notably “Two Rivers,” “Rubies” and “Waldeinsamkeit,” show the gain in musical ear, the lack of which in early days he admitted. [back]

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