Care and Disappointment

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Ev'n as the wax doth melt, or dew consume away
Before the sun, so I, behold, through careful thoughts decay;
For my best luck leads me to such sinister state,
That I do waste with others’ love, that hath myself in hate.
And he that beats the bush the wished bird not gets,
But such, I see, as sitteth still and holds the fowling nets.
 
The drone more honey sucks, that laboureth not at all,
Than doth the bee, to whose most pain least pleasure doth befall:
The gard’ner sows the seeds, whereof the flowers do grow,
And others yet do gather them, that took less pain I trow.
So I the pleasant grape have pulled from the vine,
And yet I languish in great thirst, while others drink the wine.
 
Thus like a woeful wight I wove the web of woe,
The more I would weed out my cares, the more they seemed to grow:
The which betokeneth, forsaken is of me,
That with the careful culver climbs the worn and withered tree,
To entertain my thoughts, and there my hap to moan,
That never am less idle, lo! than when I am alone.

This work was published before January 1, 1924, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.