Gifts of Genius eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 195 pages of information about Gifts of Genius.



    Not as in youth, with steps outspeeding morn,
      And cheeks all bright from rapture of the way,
    But in strange mood, half cheerful, half forlorn,
               She comes to me to-day.

    Does she forget the trysts we used to keep,
      When dead leaves rustled on autumnal ground? 
    Or the lone garret, whence she banished sleep
               With threats of silver sound?

    Does she forget how shone the happy eyes
      When they beheld her?—­how the eager tongue
    Plied its swift oar through wave-like harmonies,
               To reach her where she sung?

    How at her sacred feet I cast me down? 
      How she upraised me to her bosom fair,
    And from her garland shred the first light crown
               That ever pressed my hair?

    Though dust is on the leaves, her breath will bring
      Their freshness back:  why lingers she so long? 
    The pulseless air is waiting for her wing,
               Dumb with unuttered song.

    If tender doubt delay her on the road,
      Oh let her haste, to find that doubt belied! 
    If shame for love unworthily bestowed,
               That shame shall melt in pride.

    If she but smile, the crystal calm will break
      In music, sweeter than it ever gave,
    As when a breeze breathes o’er some sleeping lake
               And laughs in every wave.

    The ripples of awakened song shall die
      Kissing her feet, and woo her not in vain,
    Until, as once, upon her breast I lie,
               Pardoned and loved again.



Against all institutions for the diffusion of knowledge among the community, an objection is often urged that they can teach nothing thoroughly, but only superficially, and that modest ignorance is better than presumptuous half-knowledge.  How frequently is it said that “a little learning is a dangerous thing.”  This celebrated line is a striking instance of the vitality which may be given to what is at least a very doubtful proposition by throwing it into a pointed form.  If anything be a good at all, it is a good precisely in proportion to the extent in which it is possessed or enjoyed.  A great deal of it is better than a little, but a little is better than none.  No one says or thinks that a little conscience, or a little wisdom, or a little faith, or a little charity is a dangerous thing.  Why then is a little learning dangerous?  Alas, it is not the little learning, but the much ignorance which it supposes, that is dangerous!

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Gifts of Genius from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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