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Give All to Love by Ralph Waldo Emerson


"Give All to Love" is a poem written by Ralph Waldo Emerson. This poem is about giving everything to love. However, it's also about the death of his wife. He speaks of this with the lines "As a self of purer clay, / Tho' her parting dims the day, / Stealing grace from all alive,". However, he still loves her with all his heart. He shows his love every day and obeys his hearts true love for everything around him.

"Give All to Love" is a poem consisting of four stanzas of varying lengths. The stanzas do not have rhyme schemes and they also change meter length. The lines change from four syllables to six syllables to seven syllables. The first stanza, for example, consists four and six syllable lines.


Give All to Love

Give all to love;
Obey thy heart;
Friends, kindred, days,
Estate, good fame,
Plans, credit, and the muse;
Nothing refuse.

'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,
Untold intent;
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,
Valor unbending;
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,
Heartily know,
When half-gods go,
The gods arrive

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Literary Movement
Transcendentalism, 19th Century

Love, Death, Relationship, Wife

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