Late Wisdom

WE'VE trod the maze of error round,
   Long wandering in the winding glade;
And now the torch of truth is found,
   It only shows us where we strayed:
By long experience taught, we know--
   Can rightly judge of friends and foes;
Can all the worth of these allow,
   And all the faults discern in those.

Now, 'tis our boast that we can quell
   The wildest passions in their rage,
Can their destructive force repel,
   And their impetuous wrath assuage.--
Ah, Virtue! dost thou arm when now
   This bold rebellious race are fled?
When all these tyrants rest, and thou
   Art warring with the mighty dead?

by George Crabbe

Comments (1)

A wistful (but true) recognition of the ironic exchange made in later life between virtuous self control and riled blood.