Etienne de la Boéce

by Ralph Waldo Emerson

I serve you not, if you I follow, Shadow-like, o'er hill and hollow, And bend my fancy to your leading, All too nimble for my treading. When the pilgrimage is done, And we've the landscape overrun, I am bitter, vacant, thwarted, And your heart is unsupported. Vainly valiant, you have missed The manhood that should yours resist, Its complement; but if I could In severe or cordial mood Lead you rightly to my altar, Where the wisest muses falter, And worship that world-warning spark Which dazzles me in midnight dark, Equalizing small and large, While the soul it doth surcharge, That the poor is wealthy grown, And the hermit never alone, The traveller and the road seem one With the errand to be done;— That were a man's and lover's part, That were Freedom's whitest chart.