Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), American Transcendentalist poet, philosopher, lecturer, and essayist wrote Nature (1836);
Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.
Don't be too timid and squeamish about your actions. All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better.
A hero is no braver than an ordinary man, but he is braver five minutes longer.
A man of genius is privileged only as far as he is genius. His dullness is as insupportable as any other dullness.
I awoke this morning with devout thanksgiving for my friends, the old and the new.
All I have seen teaches me to trust the Creator for all I have not seen.
All our progress is an unfolding, like a vegetable bud. You have first an instinct, then an opinion, then a knowledge as the plant has root, bud, and fruit. Trust the instinct to the end, though you can render no reason.
As we grow old…the beauty steals inward.
Don't waste yourself in rejection, nor bark against the bad, but chant the beauty of the good.
Every great and commanding moment in the annals of the world is the triumph of some enthusiasm.
Every hero becomes a bore at last.
Every sweet has its sour; every evil its good.
Insist on yourself; never imitate... Every great man is unique.
Let not a man guard his dignity, but let his dignity guard him.
Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could.
Give all to love; obey thy heart.
God enters by a private door into every individual.
Beware when the great God lets loose a thinker on this planet.
A friend is one before whom I may think aloud.
Character is higher than intellect... A great soul will be strong to live, as well as to think.
Colleges hate geniuses, just as convents hate saints.
Conversation is an art in which a man has all mankind for his competitors, for it is that which all are practising every day while they live.
Democracy becomes a government of bullies tempered by editors.
I hate quotations. Tell me what you know.
I pack my trunk, embrace my friends, embark on the sea, and at last wake up in Naples, and there beside me is the Stern Fact, the Sad Self, unrelenting, identical, that I fled from.
If I have lost confidence in myself, I have the universe against me.
Give All To Love
Give all to love;
Obey thy heart;
Friends, kindred, days,
Estate, good fame,
Plans, credit, and the muse;
'Tis a brave master,
Let it have scope,
Follow it utterly,
Hope beyond hope;
High and more high,
It dives into noon,
With wing unspent,
But 'tis a god,
Knows its own path,
And the outlets of the sky.
'Tis not for the mean,
It requireth courage stout,
Souls above doubt,
Such 'twill reward,
They shall return
More than they were,
And ever ascending.
Leave all for love;—
Yet, hear me, yet,
One word more thy heart behoved,
One pulse more of firm endeavor,
Keep thee to-day,
To-morrow, for ever,
Free as an Arab
Of thy beloved.
Cling with life to the maid;
But when the surprise,
Vague shadow of surmise,
Flits across her bosom young
Of a joy apart from thee,
Free be she, fancy-free,
Do not thou detain a hem,
Nor the palest rose she flung
From her summer diadem.
Though thou loved her as thyself,
As a self of purer clay,
Tho' her parting dims the day,
Stealing grace from all alive,
When half-gods go,
The gods arrive.