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Quotation by Ralph Waldo Emerson
A man is a god in ruins. When men are innocent, life shall be longer, and shall pass into the immortal, as gently as we awake from dreams.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803–1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. Nature, ch. 8 (1836, revised and repr. 1849).
Emerson says that a "certain poet" sang this to him. Gay Wilson Allen and others have speculated that this poet could have been Bronson Alcott, Plotinus, or Emerson himself.
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The Columbia World of Quotations © 1996, Columbia University Press.
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