Ella Wheeler Wilcox

(5 November 1850 - 30 October 1919 / Johnstown Center / Rock County / Wisconsin)

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 souls own 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.

Submitted: Monday, May 19, 2003

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