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Joseph Friedlander, comp. The Standard Book of Jewish Verse. 1917.

By Anonymous

Who Are the Wise?

From Ethics of the Fathers

THEY who have governed with a self control

Each wild and baneful passion of the soul—

Curbed the strong impulse of all fierce desires,

But kept alive affection’s purer fires;

Those who have passed the labyrinth of life

Without one hour of weakness or of strife;

Prepared each change of future to endure,

Humble tho’ rich, and dignified tho’ poor—

Skilled in the latest movements of the heart—

Learned in that lore which nature can impart;

Teaching that sweet philosophy aloud

Which sees the silver lining of the cloud;

Looking for good in all beneath the skies—

Those only can be numbered with the wise.