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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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To the Majestie of Great Britaine, France, and Jreland, the Most Illustrious King, CHARLES; And his excellently beloved, the most gratious Queene MARY.
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To the Majestie of Great Britaine, France, and Jreland, the Most Illustrious King, CHARLES; And his excellently beloved, the most gratious Queene MARY.

Sev'n yeares are full expired, Royall Sir,
Since last I kneel'd, an offring to preferre
Before your feete, where, now, my selfe I throw
To pay once more, the Tributes which I owe.
As many yeares are past, most beauteous Qveene,
Since witnesses, mine eares and eyes, have beene
Of those Perfections; which the generall Fame
Hath sounded forth, in honour of your Name.
And, both your beaming-splendors (oh yee faire,
Thrice blessed, and most fitly-matched Paire)
Vpon each other, make such bright reflections;
And have so sweetly mingled your affections,
Your Praise, your Pow're, your Vertues, and your Beautie:
That, (if preserving of my Soveraigne dutie,
This may be said) you doe appeare, to me,
Two Persons, in One Maiesty, to be;
To whom, there, appertaines (in veneration
Of your large Worth) the right of some Oblation:
And, best, I thought, my Homage would be done,
If, thus, the tender were to Both-in-One.
Which, in this humble Gvift, my Love presents;
And, wisheth it may adde to your Contents.
Perhaps it shall: For, though I dare not shew
These Figures, as well meriting your view;
Nor boast, as if their Moralls couched ought,
By which your sacred Wisdomes may be taught:
Yet, I have humble Hopings, that, they might
Prove, some way, an occasion of delight;
Since, meane and common Objects, now and then,
Beget contentments in the greatest-men.
But, that before this Booke, I should propose
Your praisefull Names, there is (as I suppose)
A faire inducement: For, considering these
Are Emblems, whose intention is to please
And profit vulgar Iudgements (by the view,
Of what they ought to follow, or eschew.)
And, I well knowing, that your Maiesties
Set foorth before my Booke, in Emblem-wise,

Throughout your Lands, more Vertues might convay,
Than many Volumes, of these Emblems, may;
It seemed Petty-treason, to omit
This good occasion of endeavouring it.
For, (if your Maiesties, well heeded, were)
Yov, double-treble-foure-fold Emblems are;
Which, fully to illustrate, would require
The Wit I want; or, meanes to raise, that, higher
Which I have gain'd; (and, which, as yet, hath flowne
By no incouragements, but by her owne.)
Of all the Vertues Oeconomical,
Of Duties Moral and Politicall,
Your Lives are Patternes, and faire Emblems; whether
Considered apart, or both together.
Your Childhoods were bright Mirrours, which did show
What Duties Children, to their Parents owe:
And, by the sequele, we now understand,
That, they who best obay'd, can best command.
The glorious Vertues of your Nvptiall-state,
Your Courtiers, find so hard to imitate,
That, they admire them, rather; and, would sweare,
(Had others told, what, now they see and heare)
That, all the former Times, were not acquainted,
With such a Paire, when Kings and Queenes were Sainted.
The chastest Cupids, and the gamesom'st Graces,
Are alwaies mingled in your Deare-embraces.
The mutual enterchanges of your loves,
May teach affection to the Turtle-doves:
And, such as are, with goodly sights, delighted,
May see in You, all Excellence united.
You, Sir, who beare Ioves Thunders in your Fist,
And, (shake this Ilands Empire when You list)
Did never in your Orbe, a Tempest move
But, by the Beautious Mistresse of your Love
It might be calm'd. And, in your lofty Spheare,
Most lovely Qveene, Your Motions ever were
So smoath, and, so direct; that none can say,
They have withdrawne his Royall-heart away
From lust Designes; Which, lordly speakes your Praise,
And, intimates much more, than, yet, it saies.
Yea, both Your Splendors doe so glorious growe,
And, You, each other, have out-vyed so,
In these, and other Vertues, that, on You,
Should I conferre what praise I thinke is due,
My Lines, (which from that staine have, yet, beene cleare)
Would Flatt'ry seeme, unto an envious eare.
But, what needs Flatt'ry, where the Truth may teach
To praise, beyond immodest Flatt'ries reach?
Or, what needs he to feare a stand'rous-mouth,
Who seekes no meed, nor utters more than Truth?
Your Princely Vertues, what can better show,
Than Peace, and Plenty, which have thrived so,

Whilst You have raign'd that, yet, no people see,
A Richer, or more Peacefull time, than wee?
Your Civill Actions (to the publike eye)
Are faire examples of Moralitie,
So manifest; That, if he Trueh did sing,
Who said, The World doth imitate the King;
My Muses dare, with boldnesse to presage,
A Chast, a Pious, and a Prosperous Age:
And, that, the stormes which, late, these Realmes deterr'd,
Shall all be quite removed, or deferr'd
Till you Ascend; And, future times have seene,
That, your Examples have not followed beene.
Thus, you are living Emblems, to this Nation:
Which being mark'd with heedefull speculation,
May serve, as well, to helpe us how to see
Our Happinesse, As, what our Duties be.
And, if I might unlocke all Mysteries,
Which doe declare, how in a foure-fold-wise,
Your Lives are usefull Emblems; I, perchance,
Should vexe blind Zeale, or anger Ignorance;
And, teach well-temper'd Spirits, how to see,
That, we, for Blessings, oft, Vnthankefull be.
For, as you, Both, Prime Children are of those
Two Sister-Churches, betwixt whom, yet, growes
Vnseemely strife; So, You; perhaps, may be
An Emblem, how those Mothers may agree.
And, not by your Example, onely, show,
How wrought it may be; but, effect it so.
Yea, peradventure, God, united You,
That, such a blessed Vnion might ensue:
And, that, Your living-lovingly, together;
Your Christian hopefullnesse, of one another;
Your milde forbearance, harsh attempts to proove;
Your mutuall-waiting, untill God shall move
By some calme-voice, or peacefull inspiration,
That Heart Which needeth better Information;
And, that, your Charities, might give a signe,
How, ill the Daughters, of the Spovse Divine
Might reconciled be; And shew, that, Swords,
Flames, Threats, and Furie, make no true Accords.
God grant a better Vnion may appeare:
Yet, with I not the tollerating here,
Of Politicke-Agreements; (further than
Our wholsome Lawes, and, Civill-vowes to man,
With Piety, approve) but, such, as may
Make up a blessed Concord, every way:
Might it be so; your Vertues, would become
A Glorious Blessing, to all Christendome:
Your Emblem should, by future Generations;
Be plac'd among the famous Constellations,
And, after-times (though, Mee, this Age despise)
Would thinke, these Verses, had beene Prophecies.

What ever may succeed, my Pray'rs and Powr's
Are this way bent; with Hope, that You or Yours
Shall Helps (at least) become, that Breach to close,
Which, in the Seamles-Robe, yet, wider growes.
So Be It: And, let bright your Glories bee,
For ever, though You never shine on Mee.
Your Maiesties most Loyall Subject, Geo: Wither.