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SIR WALTER RALEIGH TO HIS SON

Three things there be that prosper upapace,
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.

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SIR WALTER RALEIGH TO HIS SON - WALTER RALEIGH