If livelihood by knowledge were endowed,
None would be poorer than the brainless crowd;
Yet fortune on the fool bestows the prize,
And leaves but themes for wonder to the wise.
The luck of wealth dependeth not on skill,
But only on the aid of Heaven’s will:
So it has happened since the world began—
The witless ape outstrips the learned man;
A poet dies of hunger, grief, and cold;
A fool among the ruins findeth gold.
Translated by L. Cranmer-Byng