Quae Nocent Docent

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O! mihi praeteritos referat si Jupiter annos!

Oh! might my ill-past hours return again!
No more, as then, should Sloth around me throw
Her soul-enslaving, leaden chain!
No more the precious time would I employ
In giddy revels, or in thoughtless joy,
A present joy producing future woe.
But o’er the midnight Lamp I’d love to pore,
I’d seek with care fair Learning’s depths to sound,
And gather scientific Lore:
Or to mature the embryo thoughts inclin’d,
That half-conceiv’d lay struggling in my mind,
The cloisters’ solitary gloom I’d round.
’Tis vain to wish, for Time has ta’en his flight —
For follies past be ceas’d the fruitless tears:
Let follies past to future care incite.
Averse maturer judgements to obey
Youth owns, with pleasure owns, the Passions’ sway,
But sage Experience only comes with years.

This work was published before January 1, 1924, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.