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   Chapter 14 No.14

The Poems of Jonathan Swift, D.D., Volume 1 By Jonathan Swift Characters: 945

Updated: 2017-12-01 00:03


But what does our proud ignorance Learning call?

We oddly Plato's paradox make good,

Our knowledge is but mere remembrance all;

Remembrance is our treasure and our food;

Nature's fair table-book, our tender souls,

We scrawl all o'er with old and empty rules,

Stale memorandums of the schools:

For learning's mighty treasures look

Into that deep grave, a book;

Think that she there does all her treasures hide,

And that her troubled ghost stil

l haunts there since she died;

Confine her walks to colleges and schools;

Her priests, her train, and followers, show

As if they all were spectres too!

They purchase knowledge at th'expense

Of common breeding, common sense,

And grow at once scholars and fools;

Affect ill-manner'd pedantry,

Rudeness, ill-nature, incivility,

And, sick with dregs and knowledge grown,

Which greedily they swallow down,

Still cast it up, and nauseate company.

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