Spring 1981 • Vol. III No. 2 Poetry |

Refrain

But let his disposition have that scope As dotage gives it.         — Goneril to Albany Never afflict yourself to know the cause, said Goneril, her mind already set. No one can tell us who her mother was or, knowing, could account then by the laws of nurture for so false and hard a heart. Never afflict yourself to know the cause of Lear's undoing: if without a pause he shunned Cordelia, as soon he saw the fault. No one can tell us who her mother was, but here's a pretty reason seven stars are seven stars: because they are not eight. Never afflict yourself to know the cause— like servants, even one's superfluous. The king makes a good fool: the Fool is right. No one can tell him who his mother was when woman's water-drops are all he has against the storm, and daughters cast him out. Never afflict yourself to know the cause; no one can tell you who your mother was.

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