Give All to Love

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by Ralph Waldo Emerson 

Give all to love;
Obey thy heart;
Friends kindred days
Estate good fame
Plans credit and the Muse¡
Nothing refuse.

‘Tis a brave master;
Let it have scope:
Follow it utterly
Hope beyond hope:
High and more high
It dives into noon
With wing unspent
Untold intent;
But it is a god
Knows its own path
And the outlets of the sky.

It was never for the mean;
It requireth courage stout
Souls above doubt
Valour unbending:
Such ’twill reward;
They shall return
More than they were
And ever ascending.

Leave all for love;
Yet hear me yet
One word more thy heart behoved
One pulse more of firm endeavour
Keep thee to-day
To-morrow for ever
Free as an Arab
Of thy beloved.

Cling with life to the maid;
But when the surprise
First vague shadow of surmise
Flits across her bosom young
Of a joy apart from thee
Free be she fancy-free;
Nor thou detain her vesture’s hem
Nor the palest rose she flung
From her summer diadem.

Though thou loved her as thyself
As a self of purer clay;
Though her parting dims the day
Stealing grace from all alive;
Heartily know
When half-gods go
The gods arrive.


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