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WHAT man may learn, what man may do, Of right or wrong of false or true, While, skipper-like, his course he steers Through nine and twenty mingled years, Half misconceived and half forgot, So much I know and practise not. Old are the words of wisdom, old The counsels of the wise and bold: To close the ears, to check the tongue, To keep the pining spirit young; To act the right, to say the true, And to be kind whate'er you do. Thus we across the modern stage Follow the wise of every age; And, as oaks grow and rivers run Unchanged in the unchanging sun, So the eternal march of man Goes forth on an eternal plan.
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