Poets Walk: "the subtle ways"

Poets Walk: "the subtle ways"

Location on Poets Walk Map: 54


Brahma by Ralph Waldo Emerson


If the red slayer think he slays,

      Or if the slain think he is slain,

They know not well the subtle ways

      I keep, and pass, and turn again.

Far or forgot to me is near;

      Shadow and sunlight are the same;

The vanished gods to me appear;

      And one to me are shame and fame.

They reckon ill who leave me out;

      When me they fly, I am the wings;

I am the doubter and the doubt,

      I am the hymn the Brahmin sings.

The strong gods pine for my abode,

      And pine in vain the sacred Seven;

But thou, meek lover of the good!

      Find me, and turn thy back on heaven.