EMERSON, RALPH WALDO (1803-1882, American poet)
AUTOGRAPH MANUSCRIPT OF HIS WELL-KNOWN AND WIDELY PUBLISHED POEM 'FABLE', 19 lines, about the relative talents of the large and small in nature, with an additional probably unrelated line written the other way up at the foot of the page and cancelled, 1 page, quarto, not dated
The mountain & the squirrel
Had a quarrel,
And the former called the latter, 'little prig'!
You are doubtless very big,
But all sorts of things & weather
Must be taken in together
To make up a year,
And a sphere.
And I think it no disgrace
To occupy my place.
If I'm not so large as you,
You are not so small as I,
And not half so spry:
I'll not deny you make
A very pretty squirrel track;
Talents differ; all is well & wisely put;
If I cannot carry forests on my back,
Neither can you crack a nut.
The principal collection of Emerson's papers is that of the Ralph Waldo Emerson Memorial Association on deposit in the Houghton Library at Harvard.
PROVENANCE: Barrett Collection; Sotheby's New York, 26 October 1988, lot 74; Kenneth Rendell.