Robert William Service

(16 January 1874 - 11 September 1958 / Preston)

Innocence


The height of wisdom seems to me
That of a child;
So let my ageing vision be
Serene and mild.
The depth of folly, I aver,
Is to fish deep
In that dark pool of science where
Truth-demons sleep.

Let me not be a bearded sage
Seeing too clear;
In issues of the atom age
Man-doom I fear.
So long as living's outward show
To me is fair,
What lies behind I do not know,
And do not care.

Of woeful fears of future ill
That earth-folk haunt,
Let me, as radiant meadow rill,
Be ignorant.
Aye, though a sorry dunce I be
In learning's school,
Lord, marvellously make of me
Your Happy Fool!

Submitted: Monday, January 13, 2003

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