The Triple Fool

Original Text: 
John Donne, Poems, by J. D. With elegies on the authors death (M. F. for J. Marriot, 1633). MICF no. 556 Robarts Library. Facs. edn. (Menston: Scolar Press, 1969). PR 2245 A2 1633A. STC 7045
1       I am two fools, I know,
2    For loving, and for saying so
3       In whining poetry;
4But where's that wiseman, that would not be I,
5       If she would not deny?
6Then as th' earth's inward narrow crooked lanes
7   Do purge sea water's fretful salt away,
8I thought, if I could draw my pains
9   Through rhyme's vexation, I should them allay.
10Grief brought to numbers cannot be so fierce,
11For he tames it, that fetters it in verse.
12    But when I have done so,
13    Some man, his art and voice to show,
14       Doth set and sing my pain;
15And, by delighting many, frees again
16       Grief, which verse did restrain.
17To love and grief tribute of verse belongs,
18   But not of such as pleases when 'tis read.
19Both are increased by such songs,
20   For both their triumphs so are published,
21And I, which was two fools, do so grow three;
22Who are a little wise, the best fools be.
Publication Start Year: 
RPO poem Editors: 
N. J. Endicott
RPO Edition: 
2RP 1. 271.