Good-by, proud world, I’m going home,
Thou’rt not my friend, and I’m not thine;
Long through thy weary crowds I roam;
A river-ark on the ocean brine,
Long I’ve been tossed like the driven foam,
But now, proud world, I’m going home.

Good-by to Flattery’s fawning face,
To Grandeur, with his wise grimace,
To upstart Wealth’s averted eye,
To supple Office low and high,
To crowded halls, to court, and street,
To frozen hearts, and hasting feet,
To those who go, and those who come,
Good-by, proud world, I’m going home.

I’m going to my own hearth-stone
Bosomed in yon green hills, alone,
A secret nook in a pleasant land,
Whose groves the frolic fairies planned;
Where arches green the livelong day
Echo the blackbird’s roundelay,
And vulgar feet have never trod
A spot that is sacred to thought and God.

Oh, when I am safe in my sylvan home,
I tread on the pride of Greece and Rome;
And when I am stretched beneath the pines
Where the evening star so holy shines,
I laugh at the lore and the pride of man,
At the sophist schools, and the learned clan;
For what are they all in their high conceit,
When man in the bush with God may meet.

Analysis, meaning and summary of Ralph Waldo Emerson's poem Good-by


  1. jennie combs says:

    I believe “Goodbye” is about the life of a mouse:
    “I’m going to my own hearth-stone
    Bosomed in yon green hills, alone,
    A secret nook in a pleasant land,”

  2. Taylor says:

    I personally don’t think that he is dying in this poem. I think that he has been consumed by the materialistic lifestyle of the city for too long and he wants to get out. So he is saying goodbye to all the petty ways. He goes to a place where he is all alone, maybe the hills, mountains, just somewhere by himself. Where materialistic things cannot touch him. As he lays there under the stars he can simply laugh at all the people who are self absorbed and trapped by the city life and he can be all at one with himself and God when he is all alone and not persuaded by other distracting things.

  3. theresa says:

    the poem itself is sad but at happy at the same time, for finally finding your way home and making heavens gate as your eternal home with god is pleasing to one’s soul

  4. Elise says:

    I love this poem!!!! It talks about how he leaves all the petty problems of Earth to go on to Heaven.

  5. Karen says:


  6. Grace Richards says:

    I really like this poem. It’s sad and sweet at the same time. I think that he is telling people that he is going HOME. He’s dying.

  7. Kristy says:

    I love this poem

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