Author: Ralph Waldo Emerson  | Date: 1867


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,

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.

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Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Chicago: Ralph Waldo Emerson, Brahma Original Sources, accessed June 9, 2023,

MLA: Emerson, Ralph Waldo. Brahma, Original Sources. 9 Jun. 2023.

Harvard: Emerson, RW, Brahma. Original Sources, retrieved 9 June 2023, from