Poems (Emerson, 1847)/Tact

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What boots it, thy virtue,
What profit thy parts,
While one thing thou lackest,—
The art of all arts?

The only credentials,
Passport to success;
Opens castle and parlor,—
Address, man, Address.

The maiden in danger
Was saved by the swain;
His stout arm restored her
To Broadway again.

The maid would reward him,—
Gay company come;
They laugh, she laughs with them;
He is moonstruck and dumb.

This clinches the bargain;
Sails out of the bay;
Gets the vote in the senate,
Spite of Webster and Clay;

Has for genius no mercy,
For speeches no heed;
It lurks in the eyebeam,
It leaps to its deed.

Church, market, and tavern,
Bed and board, it will sway.
It has no to-morrow;
It ends with to-day.