And remember…

…these words from Third Daughter, not quite five:

“If you don’t work, we can’t live in this house.”

What makes it is her perfectly innocent (ha!) delivery.

Talking of which…


What earthly use has innocence?
There can be none, for use will make it naught,
As frost upon a pane, or dew upon a web.
For nothing can be seen, no insect can be caught
Until they’re cleared away, the ebb
And flow of life must drive them hence.

Impediment to life, it’s true,
Experience’s opposite,
The space that wisdom comes to fill.
Innocence will bid us sit
And stay our hands and keep quite still
And wonder at the frost and dew

And who can bear it? Who revere
That unsought innocence to which he’s born?
That golden-clappered bell he must not ring?
Say who can keep his heart from scorn
For innocence, that shy, unbodied thing
That only in its loss can be held dear

So we set out, who have seen much
And learned the price of gain and loss
To guard it in some newer soul
And call it precious, though it’s dross
To youth who crave some useful role
And seek the day when longing yields to touch.


  1. Angelico Nguyen, Esq., OP says

    Yet much experience
    Comes at the sole expense
    Not of one’s innocence,
    But only ignorance.

    Yes, it’s the fruit
    Of wicked pride
    To know what sin is
    From inside.

    But let’s take care
    Not to elide:

    To work out pi
    To thirty places;
    To see and mourn
    What time erases;
    Or to unpack
    The Spirit’s graces

    Do not, in any moral sense
    Erode a creature’s innocence.

    (To explicate
    What was implicit:
    Some knowledge damns,
    But some is licit.)


  2. Opus meus hic fit.


  3. Bernardo says

    Matthew, is that your poem? If not, whose? I love it. If you haven’t sent it somewhere, send it to us!

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