O what are heroes, prophets, men,

But pipes through which the breath of Pan doth blow

A momentary music. Being's tide

Swells hitherward, and myriads of forms

Live, robed with beauty, painted by the sun;

Their dust, pervaded by the nerves of God,

Throbs with an overmastering energy

Knowing and doing. Ebbs the tide, they lie

White hollow shells upon the desert shore,

But not the less the eternal wave rolls on

To animate new millions, and exhale

Races and planets, its enchanted foam.


Ralph Waldo Emerson