I am two fools, I know - For loving, and for saying so In whining poetry; But where's that wiseman that would not be I, If she would not deny? Then, as th' earths inward narrow crooked lanes Do purge sea water's fretful salt away, I thought, if I could draw my pains Through rhymes vexation, I should them allay. Grief brought to numbers cannot be so fierce, For he tames it that fetters it in verse. But when I have done so, Some man, his art and voice to show, Doth set and sing my pain, And, by delighting many, frees again Grief, which verse did restrain. To Love and Grief tribute of verse belongs, But not of such as pleases when 'tis read; Both are increased by such songs, For both their triumphs so are published; And I, which was two fools, do so grow three; Who are a little wise, the best fools be.
- by John Donne (1572 - 1631) [author's text not yet checked against a primary source]
Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)
- by Samuel Hans Adler (b. 1928), "The triple fool" [tenor and piano], from Unholy Sonnets, no. 5. [text verified 1 time]
Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]