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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. XVIII.
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Illvstr. XVIII.

[Why, with a trembling faintnesse, should we feare]

Where er'e we dwell, the Heav'ns are neere;
Let us but fly, and wee are there.

Why, with a trembling faintnesse, should we feare
The face of Death? and, fondly linger here,
As if we thought the Voyage to be gone
Lay through the shades of Styx or Acheron?
Or, that we either were to travell downe
To uncouth Deapthes, or up some heights unknowne?
Or, to some place remote, whose nearest end
Is farther then Earths limits doe extend?
It is not by one halfe that distance, thither
Where Death lets in, as it is any whither:
No not by halfe so farre, as to your bed;
Or, to that place, where you should rest your head,
If on the ground you layd your selfe (ev'n there)
Where at this moment you abiding are.
This Emblem shewes (if well you looke thereon)
That, from your Glasse of life, which is to run,
There's but one step to Death; and, that you tread
At once, among the Living, and, the Dead.
In whatsoever Land, we live or die,
God is the same; And, Heav'n is, there, as nigh
As in that place, wherein, we most desire
Our Soules, with our last breathing, to expire.
Which things, well heeding; let us not delay
Our Iourney, when we summon'd are away,
(As those inforced Pilgrims use to doe,
That know not whither, nor, how farre they goe)
Nor let us dreame that we in Time, or Place,
Are farre from ending our uncertaine Race.
But, let us fixe on Heav'n, a faithfull eye,
And, still, be flying thither, till wee die.