“Let the passion for America cast out the passion for Europe. Here let there be what the earth waits for,—exalted manhood. What this country longs for is personalities, grand persons, to counteract its materialities. For it is the rule of the universe that corn shall serve man, and not man corn.
“They who find America insipid,—they for whom London and Paris have spoiled their own homes, can be spared to return to those cities. I not only see a career at home for more genius than we have, but for more than there is in the world.
“Our helm is given up to a better guidance than our own; the course of events is quite too strong for any helmsman, and our little wherry is taken in tow by the ship of the great Admiral which knows the way, and has the force to draw men and states and planets to their good.”
With this expression of love and respect for his country and trust in his country’s God, we may take leave of Emerson’s prose writings.
The following “Prefatory Note” by Mr. Cabot introduces the ninth volume of the series of Emerson’s collected works:—
“This volume contains nearly all the pieces included in the POEMS and MAY-DAY of former editions. In 1876 Mr. Emerson published a selection from his poems, adding six new ones, and omitting many. Of those omitted, several are now restored, in accordance with the expressed wishes of many readers and lovers of them. Also some pieces never before published are here given in an Appendix, on various grounds. Some of them appear to have had Emerson’s approval, but to have been withheld because they were unfinished. These it seemed best not to suppress, now that they can never receive their completion. Others, mostly of an early date, remained unpublished doubtless because of their personal and private nature. Some of these seem to have an autobiographic interest sufficient to justify their publication. Others again, often mere fragments, have been admitted as characteristic, or as expressing in poetic form thoughts found in the Essays.
“In coming to a decision in these cases, it seemed on the whole preferable to take the risk of including too much rather than the opposite, and to leave the task of further winnowing to the hands of time.
“As was stated in the Preface to the first volume of this edition of Mr. Emerson’s writings, the readings adopted by him in the “Selected Poems” have not always been followed here, but in some cases preference has been given to corrections made by him when he was in fuller strength than at the time of the last revision.
“A change in the arrangement
of the stanzas of “May-Day,” in the
part representative of the march of Spring, received his sanction as
bringing them more nearly in accordance with the events in Nature.”