Tuesday Poem – “Sir Walter Raleigh to His Son”

Three things there be that prosper up apace
And flourish, whilst they grow asunder far,
But on a day, they meet all in one place,
And when they meet, they one another mar;
And they be these: the wood, the weed, the wag.
The wood is that which makes the gallow tree;
The weed is that which strings the hangman’s bag;
The wag, my pretty knave, betokeneth thee.
Mark well, dear boy, whilst 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.
Then bless thee, and beware, and let us pray
We part not with thee at this meeting day.

Once again, being disorganised has derailed my Tuesday Poem plans – this time complicated by my being on jury service this week. So in honour of doing my civic duty, I offer this wee gem of paternal advice from Sir Walter Raleigh. Make sure you check out the other (better organised) Tuesday Poems, by clicking on the quill link in the sidebar.

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4 thoughts on “Tuesday Poem – “Sir Walter Raleigh to His Son”

  1. There’s a certain irony to this poem, isn’t there, given Raleigh’s fate, although I believe he met the headsman’s axe, rather than the rope …

  2. I love this Tuesday poetry, there’s all this modern poetry with it’s raw succinctness, then there’s all the old-fashioned poetry where there’s this beautiful loose flow and detailed language, and this – it’s so clean that you could eat off it.

    Great choice

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