Nonfiction > Verse > Ralph Waldo Emerson > The Complete Works > Poems
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803–1882).  The Complete Works.  1904.
Vol. IX. Poems
II. May-Day and Other Pieces
ROVING, 1 roving, as it seems,
Una lights my clouded dreams;
Still for journeys she is dressed;
We wander far by east and west.
In the homestead, homely thought,        5
At my work I ramble not;
If from home chance draw me wide,
Half-seen Una sits beside.
In my house and garden-plot,
Though beloved, I miss her not;        10
But one I seek in foreign places,
One face explore in foreign faces.
At home a deeper thought may light
The inward sky with chrysolite,
And I greet from far the ray,        15
Aurora of a dearer day.
But if upon the seas I sail,
Or trundle on the glowing rail,
I am but a thought of hers,
Loveliest of travellers.        20
So the gentle poet’s name
To foreign parts is blown by fame;
Seek him in his native town,
He is hidden and unknown.
Note 1. The solution of the pleasing riddle “Una,” restored here to the place it held in the volume May-Day, cannot be given with authority. It might be the sense of the general beauty refreshed in a poetical mind by new scenes and friends met in travel—the momentary opening of new vistas of promise. [back]

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