Back to Index


by Ralph Waldo Emerson, 1904

Written by Ellen Louisa Tucker Shortly before Her Marriage to Mr. Emerson

Love scatters oil
  On Life’s dark sea,
Sweetens its toil—
  Our helmsman he.

Around him hover
  Odorous clouds;
Under this cover
  His arrows he shrouds.

The cloud was around me,
  I knew not why
Such sweetness crowned me,
  While Time shot by.

No pain was within,
  But calm delight,
Like a world without sin,
  Or a day without night.

The shafts of the god
  Were tipped with down,
For they drew no blood,
  And they knit no frown.

I knew of them not
  Until Cupid laughed loud,
And saying “You ’re caught!”
  Flew off in the cloud.

O then I awoke,
  And I lived but to sigh,
Till a clear voice spoke,—
  And my tears are dry.

Published in The Poems of Ralph Waldo Emerson

Any corrections or public domain poems I should have here? Email me at poems (at) this domain.