All this beforehand counsel comprehends. But will is deaf and hears no heedful friends

From Shakespeare’s The Rape of Lucrece (491-504), Tarquin’s all too self-aware self-justification – though I think he here acts as most of us (in milder situations, of course) and summons argument enough to crest into momentary self-delusion but not so much as to free him from later reflection. So feels the sense of the narrator’s ‘Drunken Desire must vomit his receipt / Ere he can see his own abomination’ in the aftermath (703-4).

“I see what crosses my attempt will bring;
I know what thorns the growing rose defends;
I think the honey guarded with a sting;
All this beforehand counsel comprehends.
But will is deaf and hears no heedful friends;
Only he hath an eye to gaze on beauty
And dotes on what he looks, ’gainst law or duty.

“I have debated, even in my soul,
What wrong, what shame, what sorrow I shall breed,
But nothing can affection’s course control
Or stop the headlong fury of his speed.
I know repentant tears ensue the deed,
Reproach, disdain, and deadly enmity,
Yet strive I to embrace mine infamy.”

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