Three Palinodias - 02 Conflict Of Wit And Beauty

SIR Wit, who is so much esteem'd,

And who is worthy of all honour,
Saw Beauty his superior deem'd

By folks who loved to gaze upon her;
At this he was most sorely vex'd.

Then came Sir Breath (long known as fit

To represent the cause of wit),

Beginning, rudely, I admit,
To treat the lady with a text.
To this she hearken'd not at all,
But hasten'd to his principal:
"None are so wise, they say, as you,--
Is not the world enough for two?

If you are obstinate, good-bye!
If wise, to love me you will try,
For be assured the world can ne'er
Give birth to a more handsome pair."



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FAIR daughters were by Beauty rear'd,

Wit had but dull sons for his lot;
So for a season it appear'd

Beauty was constant, Wit was not.
But Wit's a native of the soil,

So he return'd, work'd, strove amain,
And found--sweet guerdon for his toil!--

Beauty to quicken him again.

by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

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