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
Riches
 
HAVE ye seen the caterpillar
  Foully warking in his nest?
’T is the poor man getting siller,
  Without cleanness, without rest.
 
Have ye seen the butterfly        5
  In braw claithing drest?
’T is the poor man gotten rich,
  In rings and painted vest.
 
The poor man crawls in web of rags
  And sore bested with woes.        10
But when he flees on riches’ wings,
  He laugheth at his foes. 1
 
Note 1. There seems to be no question that this is Mr. Emerson’s work, in spite of the Scottish garb in which, for his amusement, he clothed the little simile. It has no title in the verse-book. [back]
 
 
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