Home  »  The Oxford Book of English Verse  »  672. Brahma

Arthur Quiller-Couch, ed. 1919. The Oxford Book of English Verse: 1250–1900.

Ralph Waldo Emerson. 1803–1882

672. Brahma

IF the red slayer think he slays, 
  Or if the slain think he is slain, 
They know not well the subtle ways 
  I keep, and pass, and turn again. 
Far or forgot to me is near;         5
  Shadow and sunlight are the same; 
The vanish’d gods to me appear; 
  And one to me are shame and fame. 
They reckon ill who leave me out; 
  When me they fly, I am the wings;  10
I am the doubter and the doubt, 
  And I the hymn the Brahmin sings. 
The strong gods pine for my abode, 
  And pine in vain the sacred Seven; 
But thou, meek lover of the good!  15
  Find me, and turn thy back on heaven.