Book Wisdom - Frederick Engels

Submitted by pogo on April 28, 2015


Book Wisdom by Frederick Engels



Works of Frederick Engels, 1839

Book Wisdom [3]


Written: in March 1839

First published: in Der Bremer Stadtbote No. 8, March 24, 1839

Signed: Th. Hildebrandt


He is not wise who from his reading draws

Nothing but floods of useless erudition.

For all his learning, life’s mysterious laws

Are a closed book beyond his comprehension.

He who acquires a thorough textbook grounding

In Botany, won’t hear the grass that grows.

Nor will he ever teach true understanding

Who tells you all the dogma that he knows.

Oh, no! The germ lies hid in man’s own heart.

Who seeks the art of life must look within.

Burning the midnight oil will not impart

The secret of emotion’s discipline.

The man is lost who hears his own heart’s voice

And spurns it, wilfully misapprehending.

Of all your words so noble and so wise

The most profound is human understanding.