The Test

I hung my verses in the wind,
Time and tide their faults may find.
All were winnowed through and through,
Five lines lasted sound and true;
Five were smelted in a pot
Than the South more fierce and hot;
These the siroc could not melt,
Fire their fiercer flaming felt,
And the meaning was more white
Than July's meridian light.
Sunshine cannot bleach the snow,
Nor time unmake what poets know.
Have you eyes to find the five
Which five hundred did survive?

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

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Ralph Waldo Emerson

Ralph Waldo Emerson was an American essayist, lecturer, and poet, who led the Transcendentalist movement of the mid-19th century. more…

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"The Test" Poetry.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2020. Web. 10 Jul 2020. <https://www.poetry.net/poem/29879/the-test>.

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