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The Triple Fool

by John Donne
      I am two fools, I know,
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The Triple Fool

by John Donne
      I am two fools, I know,
      For loving, and for saying so
            In whining poetry;
But where's that wise man, that would not be I,
            If she would not deny?
Then as th' earth's inward narrow crooked lanes
      Do purge sea water's fretful salt away,
I thought, if I could draw my pains
      Through rhyme's vexation, I should them allay.
Grief brought to numbers cannot be so fierce,
For he tames it, that fetters it in verse.
      But when I have done so,
      Some man, his art and voice to show,
            Doth set and sing my pain;
And, by delighting many, frees again
            Grief, which verse did restrain.
To love and grief tribute of verse belongs,
      But not of such as pleases when 'tis read.
Both are increasèd by such songs,
      For both their triumphs so are published,
And I, which was two fools, do so grow three.
Who are a little wise, the best fools be.

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