Verse > Anthologies > > Arthur Quiller-Couch, ed. > The Oxford Book of Victorian Verse
Arthur Quiller-Couch, comp.  The Oxford Book of Victorian Verse.  1922.
By Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803–1882)
WHOSO walks in solitude
And inhabiteth the wood,
Choosing light, wave, rock and bird
Before the money-loving herd,
Into that forester shall pass,        5
From these companions, power and grace.
Clean shall he be, without, within,
From the old adhering sin;
All ill dissolving in the light
Of his triumphant piercing sight:        10
Not vain, sour, nor frivolous;
Nor mad, athirst, nor garrulous;
Grave chaste, contented tho’ retired,
And of all other men desired,
On him the light of star and moon        15
Shall fall with pure radiance down;
All constellations of the sky
Shall shed their virtue thro’ his eye.
Him Nature giveth for defence
His formidable innocence;        20
The mountain sap, the shells, the sea,
All spheres, all stones, his helpers be;
He shall meet the speeding year
Without wailing, without fear;
He shall be happy in his love,        25
Like to like shall joyful prove;
He shall be happy while he woos,
Muse-born, a daughter of the Muse.
But if with gold she bind her hair,
And deck her breast with diamond,        30
Take off thine eyes, thy heart forbear,
Tho’ thou lie alone on the ground!

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