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Page:The Works of Lord Byron (ed. Coleridge, Prothero) - Volume 6.djvu/548

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[CANTO XIV.
DON JUAN.

CANTO THE FOURTEENTH.

I. If from great Nature's or our own abyss ^ Of Thought we could but snatch a certainty, Perhaps Mankind might find the path they miss — But then 't would spoil much good philosophy. One system eats another up, and this ^ Much as old Saturn ate his progeny ; For when his pious consort gave him stones In lieu of sons, of these he made no bones. II. But System doth reverse the Titan's breakfast, And eats her parents, albeit the digestion Is difficult. Pray tell me, can you make fast, After due search, your faith to any question ? Look back o'er ages, ere unto the stake fast You bind yourself, and call some mode the best one. Nothing more true than 7wt to trust your senses ; And yet what are your other evidences ? III. P"or me, I know nought ; nothing I deny, Admit — reject — contemn : and what knowj'^//. Except perhaps that you were born to die ? And both may after all turn out untrue. . Fry. 23, 1814 [sic).— [MS.] . [Compare — "Our little systems have their day ; They have their day and cease to be."

Tennyson's In Memoriam.]