Essays: Second Series (1844)

First published in 1841 as Essays.  After Essays: Second Series was published in 1844, Emerson corrected this volume and republished it in 1847 as Essays: First Series.

The Poet

Essays: second Series The Poet A moody child and wildly wise Pursued the game with joyful eyes, Which chose, like meteors, their way, And rived the dark with private ray: They overleapt the horizon’s edge, Searched with Apollo’s privilege; Through man, and woman, and sea, and star, Saw the dance of nature forward far; Through…

Experience

Essays: second Series Experience The lords of life, the lords of life,— I saw them pass, In their own guise, Like and unlike, Portly and grim, Use and Surprise, Surface and Dream, Succession swift, and spectral Wrong, Temperament without a tongue, And the inventor of the game Omnipresent without name; — Some to see, some…

Character

Essays: second Series Character The sun set; but set not his hope: Stars rose; his faith was earlier up: Fixed on the enormous galaxy, Deeper and older seemed his eye: And matched his sufferance sublime The taciturnity of time. He spoke, and words more soft than rain Brought the Age of Gold again: His action…

Manners

Essays: second Series Manners “How near to good is what is fair! Which we no sooner see, But with the lines and outward air Our senses taken be. Again yourselves compose, And now put all the aptness on Of Figure, that Proportion Or Color can disclose; That if those silent arts were lost, Design and…

Gifts

Essays: second Series Gifts Gifts of one who loved me, — ‘T was high time they came; When he ceased to love me, Time they stopped for shame. Essay V Gifts It is said that the world is in a state of bankruptcy, that the world owes the world more than the world can pay,…

Nature

Essays: second Series Nature The rounded world is fair to see, Nine times folded in mystery: Though baffled seers cannot impart The secret of its laboring heart, Throb thine with Nature’s throbbing breast, And all is clear from east to west. Spirit that lurks each form within Beckons to spirit of its kin; Self-kindled every…

Politics

Essays: second Series Politics Gold and iron are good To buy iron and gold; All earth’s fleece and food For their like are sold. Boded Merlin wise, Proved Napoleon great, — Nor kind nor coinage buys Aught above its rate. Fear, Craft, and Avarice Cannot rear a State. Out of dust to build What is…

Nominalist and Realist

Essays: second Series Nominalist and Realist In countless upward-striving waves The moon-drawn tide-wave strives; In thousand far-transplanted grafts The parent fruit survives; So, in the new-born millions, The perfect Adam lives. Not less are summer-mornings dear To every child they wake, And each with novel life his sphere Fills for his proper sake. ESSAY VIII…

New England Reformers

Essays: second Series New England Reformers A Lecture read before the Society in Amory Hall, on Sunday, 3 March, 1844 Whoever has had opportunity of acquaintance with society in New England, during the last twenty-five years, with those middle and with those leading sections that may constitute any just representation of the character and aim…