I have, alas, studied philosophy,
Jurisprudence and medicine, too,
And, worst of all, theology
With keen endeavor, through and through-
And here I am, for all my lore
The wretched fool I was before.
Called Master of Arts, and Doctor to boot,
For ten years almost I confute
and up and down, wherever it goes,
I drag my students by the nose-
And see that for all our science and art
We can know nothing. It burns my heart.
Of course, I am smarter than all the shysters,
The doctors, and teachers, and scribes, and Christers;
No scruple nor doubt could make me ill,
I am not afraid of the Devil or hell-
But therefore I also lack all delight,
Do not fancy that I know anything right,
Do not fancy that I could teach or assert
What would better mankind or what might convert.
I also have neither money nor treasures,
Nor worldly honors or earthly pleasures;
No dog would endure such a curst existence!
Wherefore, from Magic I seek assistance,
That many a secret perchance I reach
Through spirit-power and spirit-speech,
An thus the biter task forego
Of saying the things I do not know, -
That I may detect the inmost force
Which binds the world, and guides its course,
Its germs, productive powers explore,
And rummage in empty words no more!
If to the moment I shall ever say: