The flower, full blown, now bends the stalk, now breaks;

The mellow fruit inclines the bough to earth;

The brow which thought impregnates ofttimes aches;

Death-stricken is the womb in giving birth.

Cracked is the vase by heat which doth illume,

The driest logs the swiftest burn to nought,

Sweet flowers are stifled by their own perfume,

And bees when honey-clogged are easy caught.

Snapped are true chords e’en by the note they give,

The largest wave is broken by its weight,

Choked by its sheer sufficiency the sieve,

And blunted soon the shaft which flieth straight.

And so the largest mind and richest soul

Are always most amenable to dole.

Alfred Austin
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