I wanted to travel, in the end travel

I wanted to travel, in the end travel
caused me to retire dissatisfied to my house.
I wanted to remain alone in my study,
in the end solitude worked my harm.

I wanted to sail the seas, in the end seafaring
made me despair between life and death.
I wanted to till the earth for pleasure,
in the end I despised the tiller’s state.

I wanted to practice learning and the arts,
in the end I learnt nothing; I ran the gauntlet
of murderous battles, now war disgusts me.

O imbecility of the inquisitive mind,
which, dissatisfied with everything, is desirous of everything,
and which, doubting, has perfect knowledge of nothing.

Jean-Baptiste Chassignet

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