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  SIR  WALTER   RALEIGH   TO   HIS   SON.1 

T HREE things there be that prosper up                 
       apace,
  And flourish while they grow asunder far;
       But on a day, they meet all in a place,
And when they meet, they one another mar.

And they be these: the Wood, the Weed, the Wag:
The Wood is that that makes the gallows tree;
The Weed is that that strings the hangman's bag;
The Wag, my pretty knave, betokens thee.

Now mark, dear boy—while these assemble not,
Green springs the tree, hemp grows, the wag is wild;
But when they meet, it makes the timber rot,
It frets the halter, and it chokes the child.


GOD BLESS THE CHILD!


1  Bodleian MS. Malone 19, p. 130.



Source:
Hannah, J., Ed. The Poems of Sir Walter Raleigh.
London: George Bell and Sons, 1891. 5-7.




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