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John Clare – Fortune favors the random

January 17, 2015

“Nature in various moods pursues her plan
And moulds by turns the monkey or the man
With one she deals out wisdom as a curse
To follow fortune with an empty purse
The next in opposite extreams is bred
Oerflowing pockets and an empty head
Beggars in merit share a squires estate
And squires untitled meet a beggars fate
Fortunes great lottery owns nor rules nor laws
Fate holds her wealth and reason rarely draws
Blanks are her lot and merit vainly tryes
While heedless folly blunders on the prize”

(from The Parish [unpublished before his death in 1864])

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