FOR if that learning's rooms to learned men
* Were as their heritage distributed,
All this disordered thrust would cease. For when
The fit were called, the unworthy frustrated,
These would be shamed to seek, those to be unsought
And, staying their turn, were sure they should be sped.
Then would our drooping academies, brought
Again in heart, regain that reverend hand
Of lost opinion, and no more be thought
Th' unnecessary furnish of the land ;
Nor (discouraged with their small esteem)
Confused, irresolute and wavering stand,
Caring not to become profound, but seem
Contented with a superficial skill,
Which for a slight reward enough they deem,
When th' one succeeds as well as th' other will :
Seeing shorter ways lead sooner to their end,
And others' longer travels thrive so ill.
Then would they only labour to extend
Their now unsearching spirit beyond these bounds
of others' powers, wherein they must be pennd,
As if there were besides no other grounds :
And set their bold plus ultra far without
The pillars of those axioms age propounds.