They that have pow'r to hurt, and will do none,
That do not do the thing they most do show,
Who moving others are themselves as stone,
Unmovèd, cold, and to temptation slow,
They rightly do inherit heaven’s graces,
And husband nature’s riches from expense.
They are the lords and owners of their faces;
Others but stewards of their excellence.
The summer’s flow'r is to the summer sweet,
Though to itself it only live and die.
But if that flow'r with base infection meet,
The basest weed outbraves his dignity.
For sweetest things turn sourest by their deeds;
Lilies that fester smell far worse than weeds.
Those whose beauty gives them the power to hurt others, but who refuse to; those who look very sexy but won’t have sex; who attract other people but are themselves like stones—cold, unemotional, and difficult to tempt—those are the ones who will rightly inherit heaven’s blessings and keep nature’s treasures from being wasted. Those who have self-control truly own their beauty; the rest are only administering their beauty for others' use. The summer flower seems sweet to us in summer, though the flower itself may feel that it’s only living and dying. But if that flower lets itself be infected by a parasite, the lowest weed will be better, for the sweetest things have the capacity to turn the sourest by acting wrongly. Lilies that rot smell a lot worse than weeds.
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