“The Propagation of Knowledge”
From “Debits and Credits” (1919-1923)
The miracle of our land's speech--so known And long received, none marvel when 'tis shown! We have such wealth as Rome at her most pride Had not or (having) scattered not so wide; Nor with such arrant prodigality, Beneath her any pagan's foot let lie... Lo! Diamond that cost some half their days To find and t'other half to bring to blaze: Rubies of every heat, wherethrough we scan The fiercer and more fiery heart of man: Emerald that with the uplifted billow vies, And Sapphires evening remembered skies: Pearl perfect, as immortal tears must show, Bred, in deep waters, of a piercing woe; And tender Turkis, so with charms y-writ, Of woven gold, Time dares not bite on it. Thereafter, in all manners worked and set, Jade, coral, amber, crystal ivories, jet,-- Showing no more than various fancies, yet Each a Life's token or Love's amulet Which things, through timeless arrogance of use, We neither guard nor garner, but abuse; So that our scholars--nay, our children-fling In sport or jest treasure to arm a King; And the gross crowd, at feast or market, hold Traffic perforce with dust of gems and gold!