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Clarence R. Wylie, Jr. (1911-1995)

Not truth, nor certainty. These I forswore

In my novitiate, as young men called

To holy orders must abjure the world.

"If ..., then," this only I assert;

And my successes are but pretty chains

Linking twin doubts, for it is vain to ask

If what I postulate be justified,

Or what I prove possess the stamp of fact.

Yet bridges stand, and men no longer crawl

In two dimensions. And such triumphs stem

In no small measure from the power this game,

Played with the thrice attenuated shades

Of things, has over their originals.

How frail the wand, but how profound the spell.