Your courtesy much flatters me!
A man like other men you see;
Pray have you yet applied elsewhere?
I would entreat your friendly care!
I’ve youthful blood and courage high;
Of gold I bring a fair supply;
To let me go my mother was not fain;
But here I longed true knowledge to attain.
You’ve hit upon the very place.
And yet my steps I would retrace.
These walls, this melancholy room,
O’erpower me with a sense of gloom;
The space is narrow, nothing green,
No friendly tree is to be seen
And in these halls, with benches filled, distraught,
Sight, hearing fail me, and the power of thought.
It all depends on habit. Thus at first
The infant takes not kindly to the breast,
But before long, its eager thirst
Is fain to slake with hearty zest:
Thus at the breasts of wisdom day by day
With keener relish you’ll your thirst allay.
Upon her neck I fain would hang with joy;
To reach it, say, what means must I employ?
Explain, ere further time we lose,
What special faculty you choose?
Profoundly learned I would grow,
What heaven contains would comprehend,
O’er earth’s wide realm my gaze extend,
Nature and science I desire to know.
You are upon the proper track, I find;
Take heed, let nothing dissipate your mind.
My heart and soul are in the chase!
Though, to be sure, I fain would seize,
On pleasant summer holidays,
A little liberty and careless ease.
Use well your time, so rapidly it flies;
Method will teach you time to win;
Hence, my young friend, I would advise,
With college logic to begin!
Then will your mind be so well braced,
In Spanish boots so tightly laced,
That on ’twill circumspectly creep,
Thought’s beaten track securely keep,
Nor will it, ignis-fatuus like,
Into the path of error strike.
Then many a day they’ll teach you how
The mind’s spontaneous acts, till now
As eating and as drinking free,
Require a process;—one! two! three!
In truth the subtle web of thought
Is like the weaver’s fabric wrought:
One treadle moves a thousand lines,
Swift dart the shuttles to and fro,