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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. IIII.


Illvstr. IIII.

[Though this bee but the picture of that Glasse]

Pursue thy Workes, without delay,
For, thy short houres runne fast away.

Though this bee but the picture of that Glasse,
By which thou measur'st how thine houres doe passe.
Yet, sleight it not; for, much 'twill profit thee,
To ponder what the Morals of it bee.
And, 'tis an Emblem, whence the Wise may learne,
That, which their persons, neerely doth concerne.
The brittle Glasse, serves fitly to expresse
The Bodie's frailtie, and much crasinesse.
Foure Pillars, which the glassie worke empale,
Instruct thee, that the Vertues Cardinall,
To guard the Manhood, should bee still employ'd,
Lest else the feeble fabrick bee destroy'd.
The Sand, still running forth, without delay,
Doth shew, that Life-time, passeth fast away,
And, makes no stop: yea, and the Motto too,
(Lest thou forgetfull prove) informes thee so.
By viewing this, Occasion, therefore, take,
Of thy fast-flying Houres, more use to make;
And, heedfull bee, to shunne their common crime,
Who take much care to trifle out the time;
As if it merited their utmost paine,
To lose the gemme, which most they seeke to gaine.
Time-past is lost already: Time-to-come,
Belongs, as yet, thou knowst not unto whom.
The present-houres are thine, and, onely those,
Of which thou hast Commission to dispose;
And, they from thee, doe flye away so fast,
That, they are scarcely knowne, till they are past.
Lord, give mee grace, to minde, and use Time so,
That, I may doe thy worke, before I goe.