Nonfiction > Verse > Ralph Waldo Emerson > The Complete Works > Poems
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803–1882).  The Complete Works.  1904.
Vol. IX. Poems
I. Poems
FROM 1 fall to spring, the russet acorn,
  Fruit beloved of maid and boy,
Lent itself beneath the forest,
  To be the children’s toy.
Pluck it now! In vain,—thou canst not;        5
  Its root has pierced yon shady mound;
Toy no longer—it has duties;
  It is anchored in the ground.
Year by year the rose-lipped maiden,
  Playfellow of young and old,        10
Was frolic sunshine, dear to all men,
  More dear to one than mines of gold.
Whither went the lovely hoyden?
  Disappeared in blessed wife;
Servant to a wooden cradle,        15
  Living in a baby’s life.
Still thou playest;—short vacation
  Fate grants each to stand aside;
Now must thou be man and artist,—
  ’T is the turning of the tide.        20
Note 1. This little poem was printed in the Dial for July, 1842. [back]

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