Of a Fool

I do hate1 fools, for they my brains do crack,
And when they speak, my patience’s on the rack.
Their actions all from reason quite do run;
Their ends prove bad, ’cause ill they first begun.
They fly from wisdom, do her counsels fear,              5
As if some ruin near their heads there were.
They seek the shadow, let the substance go,
And what is good or best, they do not know.
Yet stiff in their opinions, stubborn, strong,2
Although you bray them, sayeth Solomon.3                 10
As spiders’ webs entangle little flies,4
So fools wrapped up in webs of errors lie;5
Then comes6 the spider, flies with poison fills;
So mischief, after errors, fools oft kills.

  1. do hate] hate your 1653
  2. stubborn, strong,] are always, 1664, 1668
  3. bray them, sayeth Salomon.] do them Bray, as Salomon says. 1664; do them bray, as Solomon says. 1668
  4. spiders’ webs entangle little flies,] in a Spiders Web a little Fly, 1664; in a Spider’s Web, a little Flye; 1668
  5. lie;] lyes. 1653
  6. Then comes] And as 1664, 1668