Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE RHODORA: ON BEING ASKED, WHENCE IS THE FLOWER?, by RALPH WALDO EMERSON



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THE RHODORA: ON BEING ASKED, WHENCE IS THE FLOWER?, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: In may, when sea-winds pierced our solitudes
Last Line: The self-same power that brought me there brought you.
Subject(s): Beauty; Flowers; Religion; Rhodora; Theology


IN May, when sea-winds pierced our solitudes,
I found the fresh rhodora in the woods,
Spreading its leafless blooms in a damp nook,
To please the desert and the sluggish brook:
The purple petals fallen in the pool
Made the black waters with their beauty gay, --
Here might the red-bird come his plumes to cool,
And court the flower that cheapens his array.
Rhodora! if the sages ask thee why
This charm is wasted on the marsh and sky,
Dear, tell them, that if eyes were made for seeing,
Then beauty is its own excuse for being.
Why thou wert there, O rival of the rose!
I never thought to ask; I never knew,
But in my simple ignorance suppose
The self-same Power that brought me there brought you.




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