Did you know there is a disease
That strengthens your head, weakens your knees
That makes you much smarter than you look
The disease is transferable by book
If you happen to read one, beware
Knowledge is beautiful and it will ensnare
Any mind unsure of itself
While lying innocently on the bookshelf
Once caught you are forever lost
In the maze of knowledge acquired at the cost
Of your friends, your hobbies, your life, your job
You end up an incredibly intelligent slob
At a moment’s notice you can recall a quote
That an obscure writer in an obscure time wrote
And it will fit the situation quite well
But what good, when there is no one to tell?
Must a reader be a lonely soul
Must attainment of knowledge be his only goal
Must he roam the world only in his head
Omniscient without ever leaving his bed?
“Cretin!” said Knowledge, “Open your mind and look!
What need of friends when you have a book?
Does a tower, at its almightiest height
Look around and bemoan its lonely plight?
Nay, it stands erect, tall and proud
Jutting out from above the clouds
First among us, is the tower to greet
The sunlight, from its lofty seat
Tarry not with mortals, but read,
For knowledge does happiness supersede
‘Tis better to know than to care
For knowledge breeds caution, hope only despair!”
So the learned fool read on and wept
For a promise, sincerely but ill advisedly kept
His thoughts grew profounder, his heart turned to stone
The genius who never lived, died alone