Brahma

By Ralph Waldo Emerson 1803–1882 Ralph Waldo Emerson
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;
      Shadow and sunlight are the same;
The vanished 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;
I am the doubter and the doubt,
      I am 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!
      Find me, and turn thy back on heaven.

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Poet Ralph Waldo Emerson 1803–1882

POET’S REGION U.S., New England

Subjects Religion, Other Religions, God & the Divine

Poetic Terms Rhymed Stanza

 Ralph  Waldo Emerson

Biography

Ralph Waldo Emerson—a New England preacher, essayist, lecturer, poet, and philosopher—was one of the most influential writers and thinkers of the nineteenth century in the United States. Emerson was also the first major American literary and intellectual figure to widely explore, write seriously about, and seek to broaden the domestic audience for classical Asian and Middle Eastern works. He not only gave countless readers their . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Religion, Other Religions, God & the Divine

POET’S REGION U.S., New England

Poetic Terms Rhymed Stanza

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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