LONG I followed happy guides,
I could never reach their sides;
Their step is forth, and, ere the day
Breaks up their leaguer, and away.
Keen my sense, my heart was young,
Right good-will my sinews strung,
But no speed of mine avails
To hunt upon their shining trails.
On and away, their hasting feet
Make the morning proud and sweet;
Flowers they strew,—I catch the scent;
Or tone of silver instrument
Leaves on the wind melodious trace;
Yet I could never see their face.
On eastern hills I see their smokes,
Mixed with mist by distant lochs.
I met many travellers
Who the road had surely kept;
They saw not my fine revellers,—
These had crossed them while they slept.
Some had heard their fair report,
In the country or the court.
Fleetest couriers alive
Never yet could once arrive,
As they went or they returned,
At the house where these sojourned.
Sometimes their strong speed they slacken.
Though they are not overtaken;
In sleep their jubilant troop is near,—
I tuneful voices overhear;
It may be in wood or waste,—
At unawares ’t is come and past.
Their near camp my spirit knows
By signs gracious as rainbows.
I thenceforward and long after,
Listen for their harp-like laughter
And carry in my heart, for days,
Peace that hallows rudest ways.


About Ralph Waldo Emerson


Emerson's father was a Unitarian minister who died leaving his son to be brought up by his mother and aunt. Educated at Harvard, Emerson began writing journals filled with observations and ideas which would form the basis of his later essays and poems. After a period of teaching, Emerson returned to Harvard to join the Divinity School where he was less than a perfect student owing to his poor health and a lack of conviction in religious dogma. He was ordained and was both effective and popular as a preacher, but felt compelled to resign because he did not feel... Read more...

Poet of the day

Little is known about Robert Henryson's life, who was a very well-known Scottish author much admired by his contemporories (often described as the 'greatest' Scottish medieval author); who wrote in middle-scots in the second half of the fifteenth century, and mainly during the reign of James III. He 'possibly' attended...
Read more...

Poem of the day


Festlig bredte sig Faklernes Glands fra kneisende Høisal
I den dæmrende Nat, da Ikarios, Høvding i Sparta,
Fæsted sin Datter bort, den yndigtrødmende Jomfru,
Penelopeia med hviden Slør til Drotten Odysseus.
Hundrede Harper klang i den kølige Nat, medens Maanen
Iled med Jomfrugang i den...
Read more...