Ralph Waldo Emerson: The House

The House

There is no architect   Can build as the Muse can; She is skilful to select   Materials for her plan;  Slow and warily to choose   Rafters of immortal pine, Or cedar incorruptible,   Worthy her design,  She threads dark Alpine forests   Or valleys by the sea, In many lands, with painful steps,   Ere she can find a tree.  She ransacks mines and ledges   And quarries every rock, To hew the famous adamant   For each eternal block—  She lays her beams in music,   In music every one, To the cadence of the whirling world   Which dances round the sun—  That so they shall not be displaced   By lapses or by wars, But for the love of happy souls   Outlive the newest stars.