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
 
I. Poems
Forbearance
 
HAST 1 thou named all the birds without a gun?
Loved the wood-rose, and left it on its stalk?
At rich men’s tables eaten bread and pulse?
Unarmed, faced danger with a heart of trust?
And loved so well a high behavior,        5
In man or maid, that thou from speech refrained,
Nobility more nobly to repay?
O, be my friend, and teach me to be thine!
 
Note 1. In writing this poem it is possible that Mr. Emerson had in mind his friend—later his helper and biographer—James Elliot Cabot. It would even better have fitted his friend Henry Thoreau. The date of its printing in the Dial (January, 1842) makes this more likely. [back]
 
 
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