University of Virginia Library

Search this document 
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

collapse section 
collapse section1. 
Illvstr. XLII.
expand section2. 
expand section3. 
expand section4. 


Illvstr. XLII.

[Well-worthy of our better Heeding were]

No Heart can thinke, to what strange ends,
The Tongues unruely Motion tends.

Well-worthy of our better Heeding were,
That Holy Pen-mans Lesson, who hath sayd,
We should be slow to Speake, and swift to Heare;
If, well, the nature of the Tongue we waigh'd.
For, if we let it loose, it getteth Wings,
And, flies with wanton Carelesnesse, about;
It prateth in all places, of All things;
Tells Truth and Lyes, and babbleth Secrets out.
To speake, of things unknowne, it taketh leave,
As if it had all Knowledge in Possession;
And, Mysteries (which no Man can conceive)
Are thought fit Objects for the Tongues Expression.
With Truth it mixeth Errors; sayes, unsayes;
And, is the Preacher of all Heresies.
That Heart, which gives it motion, it betrayes;
And, utters Curses, Oathes, and Blasphemies.
It spreads all Slanders, which base Envie raiseth;
It moveth Anger, and begetteth Hates:
It blameth Vertue; filthy Deeds it praiseth;
And, causeth Vproares, Murthers, and Debates.
Yea, tis the chiefest Factor for the Devill;
And, yet, with speeches feignedly-sincere,
It otherwhile reproveth what is Evill,
And, will in Lowly-words, a Saint appeare.
Now this is knowne; we, next of all, should learne,
How we may shunne the Mischiefe being knowne;
How, we bad Tongues, in Others, may discerne;
And, how to guide and moderate our Owne:
And, reason good; for, none can apprehend,
What Mischiefe doth an Evill Tongue attend.