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
Written in a Volume of Gœthe
 
SIX thankful weeks,—and let it be
A meter of prosperity,—
In my coat I bore this book,
And seldom therein could I look,
For I had too much to think,        5
Heaven and earth to eat and drink.
Is he hapless who can spare
In his plenty things so rare? 1
 
Note 1. Mr. Emerson read Goethe’s works through, largely out of his love for Carlyle, who constantly praised Goethe to him. Writing to his friend, in April, 1840, he said:—
  “You asked me if I read German…. I have contrived to read almost every volume of Goethe, and I have fifty-five [these were little leather-bound duodecimos], but I have read nothing else [i.e., in German], but I have not now looked even into Goethe, for a long time.”
  This letter shows approximately the date of the verses. [back]
 
 
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