Verse > Anthologies > Ralph Waldo Emerson, ed. > Parnassus: An Anthology of Poetry
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Ralph Waldo Emerson, comp. (1803–1882).  Parnassus: An Anthology of Poetry.  1880.
 
The Pulley
By George Herbert (1593–1633)
 
    WHEN God at first made man,
Having a glass of blessings standing by,
“Let us,” said he, “pour on him all we can;
Let the world’s riches, which dispersèd lie,
    Contract into a span.”        5
 
    So strength first made away;
Then beauty flowed; then wisdom, honor, pleasure.
When almost all was out, God made a stay;
Perceiving that alone of all the treasure
    Rest in the bottom lay.        10
 
    “For if I should,” said he,
“Bestow this jewel also on my creature,
He would adore my gifts instead of me;
And rest in Nature, not the God of Nature:
    So both should losers be.        15
 
    “Yet let him keep the rest;
But keep them, with repining restlessness.
Let him be rich and weary; that, at least,
If goodness lead him not, yet weariness
    May toss him to my breast.”        20
 
 
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