Ralph Waldo Emerson: Étienne de la Boéce

Étienne de la Boéce

I serve you not, if you I follow, Shadowlike, o'er hill and hollow; And bend my fancy to your leading, All too nimble for my treading. When the pilgrimage is done, And we've the landscape overrun, I am bitter, vacant, thwarted, And your heart is unsupported. Vainly valiant, you have missed The manhood that should yours resist,— Its complement; but if I could, In severe or cordial mood, Lead you rightly to my altar, Where the wisest Muses falter, And worship that world-warming spark Which dazzles me in midnight dark, Equalizing small and large, While the soul it doth surcharge, Till the poor is wealthy grown, And the hermit never alone,— The traveller and the road seem one With the errand to be done,— That were a man's and lover's part, That were Freedom's whitest chart.