Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, A SONG FROM THE COPTIC, by JOHANN WOLFGANG VON GOETHE



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A SONG FROM THE COPTIC, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Quarrels have long been in vogue among sages
Last Line: Beetles were blind in the ages of yore.
Subject(s): Wisdom


Quarrels have long been in vogue among sages'
Still, though in many things wranglers and rancorous,
All the philosopher-scribes of all ages
Join, una voce, on one point to anchor us.
Here is the gist of their mystified pages,
Here is the wisdom we purchase with gold --
Children of Light, leave the world to its mulishness,
Things to their natures, and fools to their foolishness;
Berries were bitter in forests of old.

Hoary old Merlin, that great necromancer,
Made me, a student, a similar answer,
When I besought him for light and for lore:
Toiler in vain! leave the world to its mulishness,
Things to their natures, and fools to their foolishness;
Granite was hard in the quarries of yore.

And on the ice-crested heights of Armenia,
And in the valleys of broad Abyssinia,
Still spake the Oracle just as before:
Wouldst thou have peace, leave the world to its mulishness,
Things to their natures and fools to their foolishness;
Beetles were blind in the ages of yore.





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