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C.D. Warner, et al., comp. The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes. 1917.

Learning and Riches

By Sister Juana Inés de la Cruz (1651–1695)

WHY should the world be apt to censure me?

Wherein have I offended that I sought

To grace my mind with jewels dearly bought,

Nor turned my heart to jeweled vanity?

From greed of riches I am fancy-free;

But deem no work of fancy fairly wrought

Till crowned with diamonds from the mine of thought,

That worth my wealth, not wealth my worth, may be.

I am not Beauty’s votary. I know

Her conquests fall a spoil to age at last;

I find no joy in money’s gaudy show;

For gold like chaff into the furnace cast

Fits but to feed Art’s flame, and keep the glow

Of golden Truth a glory unsurpassed.