by Ralph Waldo Emerson

Original Language English

If the red slayer thinks he slays,
     Or if the slain thinks 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 vanquished 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,
     And I 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.

-- from The Oxford Book of Mystical Verse, Edited by D. H. S. Nicholson / Edited by A. H. E. Lee

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The Oxford Book of Mystical Verse