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(1584 – 6 March 1616 / Leicestershire)

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The Conclusion


Sleep not too much; nor longer than asleep
Within thy bed thy lazy body keep;
For when thou, warm awake, shall feel it soft,
Fond cogitations will assail thee oft:
Then start up early, study, work, or write,
Let labour, others' toil, be thy delight.
Eat not to much, or if thou much dost eat,
Let it not be dainty or stirring meat;
Abstain from wine, although thou think it good,
It sets thy meat on fire, and stirs thy blood;
Use thyself much to bathe thy wanton limbs,
In coolest streams which o'er the gravel swims:
Be still in gravest company, and fly
The wanton rabble of the younger fry,
Whose lustful tricks will lead thee to delight
To think on love, where thou shalt perish quite;
Come not at all where many women are,
But, like a bird that lately 'scaped the snare,
Avoid their garish beauty fly with speed,
And learn by her that lately made thee bleed;
Be not too much alone, but if alone,
Get thee some modest book to look upon;
But do not read the lines of wanton men,
Poetry sets thy mind on fire again:
Abstain from songs and verses, and take heed
That not a line of love thou ever read.

Submitted: Tuesday, March 27, 2012


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