Poetry East #64/65

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64-65.png
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Poetry East #64/65

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O Poet! a new nobility is conferred in groves and pastures, and not in castles or by the sword blade any longer. The conditions are hard but equal. Thou shalt leave the world and know the muse only. Thou shalt not know any longer the times, customs, graces, politics, or opinions of men, but shalt take all from the muse. For the time of towns is tolled from the world by funeral chimes, but in nature the universal hours are counted by succeeding tribes of animals and plants, and by growth of joy on joy. God wills also that thou abdicate a manifold and duplex life and that thou be content that others speak for thee. Others shall be your gentlemen and shall represent all courtesy and worldly life for thee; others shall do the great and resounding actions also. Thou shalt lie close hid with nature, and canst not be afforded to the Capitol or the Exchange. The world is full of renunciations and apprenticeships, and this is thine; thou must pass for a fool and a churl for a long season. This is the screen and sheath in which Pan has protected his beloved flower, and thou shalt be known only to thine own, and they shall console thee with tenderest love.

– Ralph Waldo Emerson

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