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On Fame, 2
by John Keats (April 30th, 1819).

"You cannot eat your cake and have it too."—Proverb.

How fever'd is the man, who cannot look
    Upon his mortal days with temperate blood,
Who vexes all the leaves of his life's book,
    And robs his fair name of its maidenhood;
It is as if the rose should pluck herself,
    Or the ripe plum finger its misty bloom,
As if a Naiad, like a meddling elf,
    Should darken her pure grot with muddly gloom
But the rose leaves herself upon the briar,
    For winds to kiss and grateful bees to feed,
And the ripe plum still wears its dim attire,
    The undisturbed lake has crystal space,
    Why then should man, teazing the world for grace,
Spoil his salvation for a fierce miscreed?


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