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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.