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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. VI.
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Illvstr. VI.

[The little Sparkes which rak'd in Embers lie]

From that, by which I somewhat am,
The Cause of my Destruction came.

The little Sparkes which rak'd in Embers lie,
Are kindly kindled by a gentle blast:
And, brands in which the fire begins to die
Revive by blowing; and, flame out at last.
The selfe same wind, becomming over strong,
Quite bloweth out againe that very flame;
Or, else, consumes away (ere it be long)
That wasting substance, which maintain'd the same.
Thus fares it, in a Thousand other things,
As soone as they the golden Meane exceed;
And, that, which keeping Measure, profit brings,
May, (by excesse) our losse, and ruine, breed.
Preferments (well and moderately sought)
Have helpt those men, new Virtues to acquire,
Who, being to superiour places brought,
Left all their goodnesse, as they climed higher.
A little wealth, may make us better able
To labour in our Callings: Yet, I see
That they, who being poore, were charitable,
Becomming rich, hard-hearted grow to be.
Love, when they entertaine it with discretion,
More worthy, and more happy, maketh men;
But, when their Love is overgrowne with Passion,
It overthrowes their happinesse, agen.
Yea, this our Flesh, (in which we doe appeare
To have that being, which we now enjoy)
If we should overmuch the same endeare,
Would our Well-being, totally destroy.
For, that which gives our Pleasures nourishment,
Is oft the poyson of our best Content.