Well, Mike, you've probably already realized my real name is Payne Inthias.
I made a simple attempt to try and find the real source and context of the line "hitch your wagon to a star" and discovered, once again, an inaccurate quote. I think I'm going to give up on this "sourcing" business because it too often leads to disappointment. I am approaching that stage of life that embraces the banner "ignorance is bliss."
In your author section, you have:
"Hitch your wagon to a star. "
~Ralph Waldo Emerson, Society and Solitude: Civilization, 1870
I found a similar citing, but it goes:
"Now that is the wisdom of a man, in every instance of his labor, to hitch his wagon to a star, and see his chore done by the gods themselves."
~Emerson, "Society and Solitude - Civilization", 1870
Well, come to find out, this "hitch your wagon to a star" (inaccurate as it is) line actually predates 1870 by eight years. Turns out he is literally referring to Man's ability to harness the powers of the forces of this Earth, the Moon, and the stars.
The full context is:
I admire still more than the saw-mill the skill which, on the sea-shore, makes the tides drive the wheels and grind corn, and which thus embraces the assistance of the moon, like a hired band, to grind, and wind, and pump, and saw, and split stone, and roll iron.
Now that is the wisdom of a man, in every instance of his labor, to hitch his wagon to a star, and see his chore done by the gods themselves. That is the way we are strong, by borrowing the might of the elements. The forces of steam, gravity, galvanism, light, magnets, wind, fire, serve us day by day, and cost us nothing.
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson from American Civilization (1862)
The Atlantic Monthly; April 1862; American Civilization - 1862.04; Volume IX, No. 54; page 502-511
http://www.theatlantic.com/issues/1862a ... merson.htm
So I would be willing to state emphatically that Emerson never said "hitch your wagon to a star," a line that is beautiful in concept and poetry.
Curious to know what you think of this.