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A Collection of Emblemes

Ancient and Moderne: Quickened VVith Metricall Illvstrations, both Morall and Divine: And disposed into Lotteries, That Instruction, and Good Counsell, may bee furthered by an Honest and Pleasant Recreation. By George Wither

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Illvstr. IV.
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Illvstr. IV.

[That Head, which in his Temple, heretofore]

He, that concealed things will finde,
Must looke before him, and behinde.

That Head, which in his Temple, heretofore,
The well-knowne figure of old Ianus bore,
Retain'd the forme, which pictur'd here you finde;
A Face before him, and a Face behinde.
And this old Hieroglyphicke doth comprize
A multitude of Heathenish Mysteries;
Which, wee omitting, will insist on what
This Emblem's Motto, chiefely poynteth at.
In true Divinity, 'tis God alone,
To whom, all hidden things are truely knowne.
Hee, onely, is that ever-present-being,
Who, by the vertue of his pow'r all-seeing,
Beholds, at one aspect, all things that are,
That ever shall be, and that ever were.
But, in a Morall-sense, we may apply
This double-face, that man to signifie,
Who (whatsoere he undertakes to doe)
Lookes, both before him, and behinde him, too.
For, he shall never fruitfully forecast
Affaires to come, who mindes not what is past:
And, such as doe not, oft, before them looke,
May lose the labour, that's already tooke.
By, sometimes, looking backward, we behold
Those things, which have been done in times of old;
By looking wisely forward, we foresee
Such matters, as in future-times will bee:
And, thus, we doe not onely fruits receive,
From that short space of time, in which we live;
But, by this meanes, we likewise have a share,
In times to come, and, times that passed are.