Emerson at Home and Abroad

By Moncure Daniel Conway | Go to book overview
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XXIX. THE DIADEM OF DAYS.
SOME years ago Emerson was asked by a friend which of his own poems he most valued. He replied, "Days." This piece of eleven lines, as printed in "May-Day," begins "Damsels of Time;" but I prefer the original word.

"Daughters of Time, the hypocritic Days,
Muffled and dumb like barefoot dervishes,
And marching single in an endless file,
Bring diadems and fagots in their hands.
To each they offer gifts after his will,
Bread, kingdoms, stars, and sky that holds them all.
I, in my pleached garden, watched the pomp,
Forgot my morning wishes, hastily
Took a few herbs and apples, and the Day
Turned and departed silent. I, too late,
Under her solemn fillet saw the scorn."

Rare if not imaginary must have been the "day" that did not bear fruit in Emerson's garden. Let us record here the list of his works:--
Right Hand of Fellowship at the Ordination of H. B. Goodwin. February 17, 1830.
Sermon anti Letter, to the Second Church, Boston. 1832. (Reprinted in "Frothingham's Transcendentalism," 1876.)

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