Nonfiction > Verse > Ralph Waldo Emerson > The Complete Works > Poems
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Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803–1882).  The Complete Works.  1904.
Vol. IX. Poems
 
V. Appendix
The Bohemian Hymn
 
IN many forms we try
To utter God’s infinity,
But the boundless hath no form,
And the Universal Friend
Doth as far transcend        5
An angel as a worm.
 
The great Idea baffles wit,
Language falters under it,
It leaves the learned in the lurch;
Nor art, nor power, nor toil can find        10
The measure of the eternal Mind,
Nor hymn, nor prayer, nor church. 1
 
Note 1. This poem appears but once in the verse-books, and no traces of its composition remain, nor is it dated. But from the handwriting it must have been written before 1840, and the internal evidence is convincing that it was written by Mr. Emerson.
  Compare a passage in Representative Men, pp. 61, 62. [back]
 
 
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