401 – 410: Non-Learning

Like play of chess on squareless board 401
Vain is imperfect loreless word.
Unlearned man aspiring speech 402
Is breastless lady’s love-approach.
Ev’n unread men are good and wise 403
If before the wise, they hold their peace.
The unread’s wit though excellent 404
Is not valued by the savant.
A man untaught when speech he vaunts 405
Sadly fails before savants.
People speak of untaught minds 406
“They just exist like barren lands”.
Like painted clay-doll is his show 407
Grand subtle lore who fails to know.
Wealth in the hand of fools is worse 408
Than a learned man’s empty purse.
Lower are fools of higher birth 409
Than low-born men of learning’s worth.
Like beasts before men, dunces are 410
Before scholars of shining lore.

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