Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE HAPPY FOOL, by WILLIAM ROSE BENET



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THE HAPPY FOOL, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: I would not be a dogmatist
Last Line: Wisdom, maybe!
Subject(s): Wisdom


I would not be a dogmatist,
Banging a heavy, hairy fist
To crack the pint-pots on the table.
But I would dream as I am able
And noose God's wonders in a twist
Of quaintest thought and rippled rhyme;
By happy turns of fortunate phrase
Would capture Faith, and teach stern Time
To mend his ways.

I have heard out the burning boys,
And now they tire me with their noise.
Where there's intense belief, why scoff it?
But rare's the code and rare's the prophet
With the sincere, authentic voice;
And all may rattle iron-ware
Or fling a torch, Salmoneus-like,
Crying "It thunders -- lightens!" ere
Real lightnings strike.

They premise and they start to "prove";
And then you're in another groove
As narrow as the one disputed.
Another moiety fitly suited, --
But all the world? -- all men approve
The self-same set of able rules?
I've yet to see them. So, for me,
Dreams and vast wonderment; a fool's
Wisdom, maybe!





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