Verse > Sir Walter Raleigh > Poems
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Sir Walter Raleigh (1554?–1618).  Poems.  1892.
 
IX.
The Advice
 
MANY desire, but few or none deserve
  To win the fort of thy most constant will;
Therefore take heed; let fancy never swerve
  But unto him that will defend thee still:
For this be sure, the fort of fame once won,        5
Farewell the rest, thy happy days are done!
 
Many desire, but few or none deserve
  To pluck the flowers, and let the leaves to fall;
Therefore take heed; let fancy never swerve
  But unto him that will take leaves and all:        10
For this be sure, the flower once plucked away,
Farewell the rest, thy happy days decay!
 
Many desire, but few or none deserve
  To cut the corn, not subject to the sickle;
Therefore take heed; let fancy never swerve,        15
  But constant stand, for mowers’ minds are fickle;
For this be sure, the crop being once obtained,
Farewell the rest, the soil will be disdained.
 
 
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