Three things there be that prosper all apace,
And flourish while they are asunder far;
But on a day they meet all in a place,
And when they meet they one another mar.
And they be these--the wood, the weed, the wag:
The wood is that that makes the gallows tree;
The weed that that strings the hangman's bag;
The wag, my pretty knave, betokens thee.
Now mark, dear boy, while these assemble not,
Green springs the tree, hemp grows, the wag is wild;
But when they meet, it makes the timber rot,
It frets the halter, and it chokes the child.
God bless the child.