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Sonnet 17 – The Crop From Wild Oats

The prodigal may set a course away
From what his raising guided him to be;
Yet, in the end, he finds to his dismay
A path embarked may bark, bite fatally.

What smoker now knows not the fatal chance?
What drinker had not seen the stagg’ring drunk?
What addict did not know how addicts dance
To tune of drugs; have to mere puppets sunk?

We pay for foolish habits soon or late,
And though those cunning pleasures ply their wares,
It’s best to have good sense, anticipate:
We’ll pay Old Billy for our youthful tares.

Those in the world who choose to sow wild oats
Must face the fact they’re followed by wild goats.

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© Dennis Lange and thebardonthehill.wordpress.com, 2015.

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                       Sonnet XVII

Who will believe my verse in time to come
If it were fill’d with your most high deserts?
Though yet, heaven knows, it is but as a tomb
Which hides your life and shows not half your parts.
If I could write the beauty of your eyes
And in fresh numbers number all your graces,
The age to come would say, ‘This poet lies!
Such heavenly touches ne’er touch’d earthly faces.’
So should my papers (yellowed with their age)
Be scorn’d, like old men of less truth than tongue,
And your true rights be term’d a poet’s rage
And stretched metre of an antique song.
   But were some child of yours alive that time,
   You should live twice – in it, and in my rhyme.

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