WORLDLY WISDOM

If it were in my dead Past's power
    To let my Present bask
In some lost pleasure for an hour,
    This is the boon I'd ask:

Re-pedestal from out the dust
    Where long ago 'twas hurled,
My beautiful incautious trust
    In this unworthy world.

The symbol of my own soul's truth---
    I saw it go with tears---
The sweet unwisdom of my youth---
    That vanished with the years.

Since knowledge brings us only grief,
    I would return again
To happy ignorance and belief
    In motives and in men.

For worldly wisdom learned in pain
    Is in itself a cross,
Significant mayhap of gain,
    Yet sign of saddest loss.

Poetical works of Ella Wheeler Wilcox. by Ella Wheeler Wilcox
Edinburgh : W. P. Nimmo, Hay, & Mitchell, 1917.


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