A recent lecturer on intellectual freedom and censorships took as the title of his lecture, "A Braver, Newer World."
Braver and newer, but will it be wiser,
Will it be saner, this world of strange joys
Vaguely envisioned by Man the deviser
Of terrible weapons and wonderful toys?
"Onward and upward!" The urge is consuming him,
Lashing him, driving him, claiming his soul
Yet, to what end is this fever fore-dooming him?
What is the purpose? Whither the goal?
Would we be gods in the end, and contented?
Gods over whom? Do we work to a plan?
Or is there no end to this striving demented?
And who's to be conquered, except fellow man?
Yet if it be won on some misty tomorrow,
The knowledge we seek, at a terrible cost --
Cost of men's tears and men's souls and men's sorrow --
Will it be worth all the wisdom we've lost?
Braver and newer. The virtue of bravery
Lies in its purpose. The lure of the new
Leads man to fatuous, self-imposed slavery,
Blinding his eyes to the simple and true.
Wisdom sans knowledge, conceived in humility,
Down thro' the ages has wrought for man's gain
More and yet more than the boasting futility,
Knowledge sans wisdom, may ever attain.
First published in The Herald, 2 March 1933