"All I knew about Brahmanism were those verses of Emerson's"

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803–1882), American essayist, philosopher, and poet. He led the Transcendentalist movement of the mid 19th century. "Brahma" was written in 1856.

If the red slayer think he slays,

Or if the slain think he is slain,

They know not well the subtle ways 

I keep, and pass, and turn again.


Far or forgot to me is near, 

Shadow and sunlight are the same,

The vanished gods to me appear, 

And one to me are shame and fame.


They reckon ill who leave me out; 

When me they fly, I am the wings;

I am the doubter and the doubt, 

And I the hymn the Brahmin sings.


The strong gods pine for my abode, 

And pine in vain the sacred Seven;

But thou, meek lover of the good! 

Find me, and turn thy back on heaven.