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On being asked, whence is the flower.
- IN May, when sea-winds pierced our solitudes,
- I found the fresh Rhodora in the woods,
- Spreading its leafless blooms in a damp nook,
- To please the desert and the sluggish brook.
- The purple petals fallen in the pool
- Made the black water with their beauty gay;
- Here might the red-bird come his plumes to cool,
- And court the flower that cheapens his array.
- Rhodora! if the sages ask thee why
- This charm is wasted on the earth and sky,
- Tell them, dear, that, if eyes were made for seeing,
- Then beauty is its own excuse for Being;
- Why thou wert there, O rival of the rose!
- I never thought to ask; I never knew;
- But in my simple ignorance suppose
- The self-same power that brought me there, brought you.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson
Index to poems in the collection by Ralph Waldo Emerson
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