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Die ihr, des Lebens edle zeit

O ye, who from your earliest youth

Seek wisdom and would learn the truth,

Happy are ye if ye discern

Falsehood from Truth in all ye learn!

If ye with bold and eager mind

Cast prejudice and fear behind,

That so the Truth may set you free

From dreams and Error's slavery!


If to your comprehensive thought,

The lore that ancient sages taught

Is but the stepping-stone to more

And deeper truths unknown before!

Nor suffer fame to be your goal,

Still less to break the wise control

Of law and duty; seek aright

To grow more perfect through more light.

Whoe'er on God's great works can cast

A clearer light than in the past,

And teach new eyes with awe to see

Their wonders,--ah, how happy he!

Learn ever clearer what adorns,

Ennobles life, and blunts its thorns

What in each nation, every State,

Has brought it low or made it great.

Learn too what shames us, what is base,

Virtue's whole worth and beauty trace,

Here and hereafter what the source

Of joys that cannot bring remorse.

And never deign to make for Vice

A league with Error, or with lies;

Nor speak of Truth with careless scorn,

For every truth of God is born.

Whate'er ye learn, rejoice to share

With others, show them every snare

On learning's path where men have tript,

Be honest where yourselves have slipt.


Forget not ye must live for aye,

Study not only for to-day,

Think of the reckoning ye must give,

And wisely, virtuously live.

All truth is God's as He is true,

Whate'er ye know He shows it you,

So let your knowledge as it grows

Draw you to Him more near and close.

Happy indeed is such a sage,

He shall be lionoured in his age,

And fame shall follow where he trod,

For he, he is a light from God.

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