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Ralph Waldo Emerson - Give All To Love

Give all to love;
Obey thy heart;
Friends, kindred, days,
Estate, good fame,
Plans, credit, and the muse;
Nothing refuse.

'Tis a brave master,
Let it have scope,
Follow it utterly,
Hope beyond hope;
High and more high,
It dives into noon,
With wing unspent,
Untold intent;
But 'tis a god,
Knows its own path,
And the outlets of the sky.
'Tis not for the mean,
It requireth courage stout,
Souls above doubt,
Valor unbending;
Such 'twill reward,
They shall return
More than they were,
And ever ascending.

Leave all for love;—
Yet, hear me, yet,
One word more thy heart behoved,
One pulse more of firm endeavor,
Keep thee to-day,
To-morrow, for ever,
Free as an Arab
Of thy beloved.
Cling with life to the maid;
But when the surprise,
Vague shadow of surmise,
Flits across her bosom young
Of a joy apart from thee,
Free be she, fancy-free,
Do not thou detain a hem,
Nor the palest rose she flung
From her summer diadem.

Though thou loved her as thyself,
As a self of purer clay,
Tho' her parting dims the day,
Stealing grace from all alive,
Heartily know,
When half-gods go,
The gods arrive.

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Added: Feb 21 2003 | Viewed: 21885 times | Comments and analysis of Give All To Love by Ralph Waldo Emerson Comments (7)

Give All To Love - Comments and Information

Poet: Ralph Waldo Emerson
Poem: Give All To Love
Poem of the Day: Jan 24 2009

Comment 7 of 7, added on October 15th, 2007 at 10:48 PM.

Love is what we are looking for in our lives, but we are discouraged to stick to the one that has not been our most beloved any more, even though you can't live without it in a short time. Don't give up your freedom to obtain the half-gods, which turns out to be the wrong thing. The surviving gods remain. The real love will reward you real freedom. Sacrifice all to love. Love remembers you in all.

Xiao Xiao from China
Comment 6 of 7, added on May 17th, 2007 at 9:29 AM.

My interpretation of the half gods comment is Emerson is saying that when you lose a lover that meant so dearly to you, it might just be the simble of something better coming. Remember, Emerson lost his first wife, and later found his second, whom he was madly in love with.

Paul from United States
Comment 5 of 7, added on April 24th, 2007 at 8:37 PM.

well i'm doing a research project on emerson, and he traveled for some time throughout europe and the middle east and several of his poems seem to be pretty heavily influenced by the middle eastern culture.. so maybe the "free as an arab" line has something to do with that..

Taylor from United States

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