Elizabethan Poetry   16th Century  

Thou Blind Man's Mark

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Thou blind man's mark! thou fool's self-chosen snare!
Fond fancy's scum! and dregs of scattered thought!
Band of all evils! cradle of causeless care!
Thou web of will! whose end is never wrought.
Desire! Desire! I have too dearly bought,
With price of mangled mind, thy worthless ware!
Too long! too long asleep thou hast me brought!
Who shouldst my mind to higher things prepare;
But yet in vain, thou hast my ruin sought!
In vain, thou mad’st me to vain things aspire!
In vain thou kindlest all thy smoky fire!
For virtue hath this better lesson taught.
Within myself to seek my only hire:
Desiring nought, but how to kill Desire.