Ralph Waldo Emerson

Here you will find the Poem My Garden of poet Ralph Waldo Emerson

My Garden

If I could put my woods in song 
And tell what's there enjoyed, 
All men would to my gardens throng, 
And leave the cities void. 

In my plot no tulips blow,-- 
Snow-loving pines and oaks instead; 
And rank the savage maples grow 
From Spring's faint flush to Autumn red. 

My garden is a forest ledge 
Which older forests bound; 
The banks slope down to the blue lake-edge, 
Then plunge to depths profound. 

Here once the Deluge ploughed, 
Laid the terraces, one by one; 
Ebbing later whence it flowed, 
They bleach and dry in the sun. 

The sowers made haste to depart,-- 
The wind and the birds which sowed it; 
Not for fame, nor by rules of art, 
Planted these, and tempests flowed it. 

Waters that wash my garden-side 
Play not in Nature's lawful web, 
They heed not moon or solar tide,-- 
Five years elapse from flood to ebb. 

Hither hasted, in old time, Jove, 
And every god,--none did refuse; 
And be sure at last came Love, 
And after Love, the Muse. 

Keen ears can catch a syllable, 
As if one spake to another, 
In the hemlocks tall, untamable, 
And what the whispering grasses smother. 

Æolian harps in the pine 
Ring with the song of the Fates; 
Infant Bacchus in the vine,-- 
Far distant yet his chorus waits. 

Canst thou copy in verse one chime 
Of the wood-bell's peal and cry, 
Write in a book the morning's prime, 
Or match with words that tender sky? 

Wonderful verse of the gods, 
Of one import, of varied tone; 
They chant the bliss of their abodes 
To man imprisoned in his own. 

Ever the words of the gods resound; 
But the porches of man's ear 
Seldom in this low life's round 
Are unsealed, that he may hear. 

Wandering voices in the air 
And murmurs in the wold 
Speak what I cannot declare, 
Yet cannot all withhold. 

When the shadow fell on the lake, 
The whirlwind in ripples wrote 
Air-bells of fortune that shine and break, 
And omens above thought. 

But the meanings cleave to the lake, 
Cannot be carried in book or urn; 
Go thy ways now, come later back, 
On waves and hedges still they burn. 

These the fates of men forecast, 
Of better men than live to-day; 
If who can read them comes at last 
He will spell in the sculpture,'Stay.'