I cannot spare water or wine,
Tobacco-leaf, or poppy, or rose;
From the earth-poles to the Line,
All between that works or grows,
Every thing is kin of mine.

Give me agates for my meat,
Give me cantharids to eat,
From air and ocean bring me foods,
From all zones and altitudes.

From all natures, sharp and slimy,
Salt and basalt, wild and tame,
Tree, and lichen, ape, sea-lion,
Bird and reptile be my game.

Ivy for my fillet band,
Blinding dogwood in my hand,
Hemlock for my sherbet cull me,
And the prussic juice to lull me,
Swing me in the upas boughs,
Vampire-fanned, when I carouse.

Too long shut in strait and few,
Thinly dieted on dew,
I will use the world, and sift it,
To a thousand humors shift it,
As you spin a cherry.
O doleful ghosts, and goblins merry,
O all you virtues, methods, mights;
Means, appliances, delights;
Reputed wrongs, and braggart rights;
Smug routine, and things allowed;
Minorities, things under cloud!
Hither! take me, use me, fill me,
Vein and artery, though ye kill me;
God! I will not be an owl,
But sun me in the Capitol.

Analysis, meaning and summary of Ralph Waldo Emerson's poem Mithridates

3 Comments

  1. Cloud Mountain says:

    We’re sorry, but Mr. Emerson is not available to comment for you. He’s not reading poetry of others anymore. Please read more of his poems. You’ll find that, contrary to your comments, they are very light, bright, and full of fresh air.

  2. Heather says:

    I like ur poem . It is very well writen. Dark yet not frightening and it has a good lure to it that keeps the reader intrested. Maybe i could show you some of my poems some time and you could commint on them?

  3. Heather says:

    i like ur poem . it is very well writen. dark yet not frightening and it has a good lure to it that keeps the reader intrested.

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