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Heavy Is The Head ...

by Richard Stern

The ample proposition that hope makes
In all designs begun on earth below
Fails in the promis'd largeness: checks and disasters
Grow in the veins of actions highest rear'd,
As knots, by the conflux of meeting sap,
Infects the sound pine and diverts his grain
Tortive and errant from his course of growth.
Nor, princes, is it matter new to us
That we come short of our suppose so far
That after seven years' siege yet Troy's walls stand,
Sith every action that hath gone before
Whereof we have record, trial did draw
Bias and thwart, not answering the aim ... .
The specialty of rule hath been neglected,
And look how many Grecian tents do stand
Hollow upon this plain ...
When that the general is not like the hive
To whom the foragers shall all repair,
What honey is expected?
........O, when degree is shak'd,
Which is the ladder of all high designs,
The enterprise is sick