Above: Isis holding sistrum; Margaret Fuller
Ralph Waldo Emerson
“She chose the sistrum for her emblem, and had it engraved on a gem. And I know not how many verses and legends came recommended to her by this symbolism.” R. W. Emerson
Sistrum (by Margaret Fuller)*
Triune, shaping, restless power,
Life-flow from life’s natal hour,
No music chords are in thy sound;
By some thou’rt but a rattle found;
Yet, without thy ceaseless motion,
To ice would turn their dead devotion.
Life-flow of my natal hour,
I will not weary of thy power,
Till in the changes of thy sound
A chord’s three parts distinct are found.
I will faithful move with thee,
God-ordered, self-fed energy,
Nature in eternity.
*”Sistrum–a musical instrument of the ancients, employed by the Egyptians in the worship of Isis. It was to be kept in constant motion, and according to Plutarch, was intended to indicate the necessity of constant motion on the part of men–the need of being often shaken by fierce trials and agitation when they become morbid or indolent.” (comment by Robert Fuller, Margaret’s brother, in Life Without and Life Within.
“She had a feeling that she ought to have been a man, and said of herself “A man’s ambition with a woman’s heart, is an evil lot.” R. W. Emerson
In some verses which she wrote “To the Moon,” occur these lines:–
“But if I steadfast gaze upon thy face,
A Human secret like my own, I trace;
For, through the woman’s smile looks the male eye.”