Give All To Love

by Ralph Waldo Emerson

Give all to love; Obey thy heart; Friends, kindred, days, Estate, good fame, Plans, credit, and the muse; Nothing refuse. 'Tis a brave master, Let it have scope, Follow it utterly, Hope beyond hope; High and more high, It dives into noon, With wing unspent, Untold intent; But 'tis a god, Knows its own path, And the outlets of the sky. 'Tis not for the mean, It requireth courage stout, Souls above doubt, Valor unbending; Such 'twill reward, They shall return More than they were, And ever ascending. Leave all for love;— Yet, hear me, yet, One word more thy heart behoved, One pulse more of firm endeavor, Keep thee to-day, To-morrow, for ever, Free as an Arab Of thy beloved. Cling with life to the maid; But when the surprise, Vague shadow of surmise, Flits across her bosom young Of a joy apart from thee, Free be she, fancy-free, Do not thou detain a hem, Nor the palest rose she flung From her summer diadem. Though thou loved her as thyself, As a self of purer clay, Tho' her parting dims the day, Stealing grace from all alive, Heartily know, When half-gods go, The gods arrive.