Ralph Waldo Emerson: Lines

Updated September 23, 2019 | Infoplease Staff


Written by Ellen Louisa Tucker Shortly before Her Marriage to Mr. Emerson

Love scatters oil
On Life's dark sea,
Sweetens its toil—
Our helmsman he.

Around him hover
Odorous clouds;
Under this cover
His arrows he shrouds.

The cloud was around me,
I knew not why
Such sweetness crowned me.
While Time shot by.

No pain was within,
But calm delight,
Like a world without sin,
Or a day without night.

The shafts of the god
Were tipped with down,
For they drew no blood,
And they knit no frown.

I knew of them not
Until Cupid laughed loud,
And saying "You're caught!"
Flew off in the cloud.

O then I awoke,
And I lived but to sigh,
Till a clear voice spoke,—
And my tears are dry.
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