Each and All

2009 June 13
by Brandon Sargent


All are needed by each one;

Nothing is good or fair alone.

I thought the sparrow’s note from heaven,

Singing at dawn on the alder bough;

I brought him home, in his nest, at even;

He sings the songs, but it cheers me not now,

For I did not bring home the river and the sky;

He sang to my ear–they sang to my eye.

The delicate shells lay on the shore;

The bubbles of the latest wave

Fresh pearls to their enamel gave,

And the bellowing of the savage sea

Greeted their safe escape to me.

I wiped away the weeds and foam,

I fetched my sea-born treasures home;

But the poor, unsightly, noisome things

Had left their beauty on the shore

With the sun and the sand and the wild uproar.

Excerpt from Each and All, a poem by Ralph Waldo Emerson

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