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Canto LIII

How many a father have I seen,    A sober man, among his boys,    Whose youth was full of foolish noise, Who wears his manhood hale and green:

And dare we to this fancy give,    That had the wild oat not been sown,    The soil, left barren, scarce had grown The grain by which a man may live?

Or, if we held the doctrine sound    For life outliving heats of youth,    Yet who would preach it as a truth To those that eddy round and round?

Hold thou the good: define it well:    For fear divine Philosophy    Should push beyond her mark, and be Procuress to the Lords of Hell.

-Alfred Lord Tennyson, In Memoriam A. H. H., Canto LIII

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