Poems (Emerson, 1847)/The House

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For works with similar titles, see The House.




There is no architect
 Can build as the Muse can;
She is skilful to select
 Materials for her plan;

Slow and warily to choose
 Rafters of immortal pine,
Or cedar incorruptible,
 Worthy her design.

She threads dark Alpine forests,
 Or valleys by the sea,
In many lands, with painful steps,
 Ere she can find a tree.

She ransacks mines and ledges,
 And quarries every rock,
To hew the famous adamant
 For each eternal block.

She lays her beams in music,
 In music every one,
To the cadence of the whirling world
 Which dances round the sun;

That so they shall not be displaced
 By lapses or by wars,
But, for the love of happy souls,
 Outlive the newest stars.