Verse > Sir Walter Raleigh > Poems
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Sir Walter Raleigh (1554?–1618).  Poems.  1892.
 
XII.
Sir Walter Raleigh to his Son
 
THREE things there be that prosper all apace,
  And flourish while they are 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:        5
  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;        10
But when they meet, it makes the timber rot,
  It frets the halter, and it chokes the child.

GOD BLESS THE CHILD!
 
 
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