Quae Nocent Docent
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.