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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. XXXIX.

[When, in this Emblem here, observe you shall]

He needs not feare, what spight can doe,
Whom Vertue friends, and Fortune, too.

When, in this Emblem here, observe you shall
An Eaglet, perched, on a Winged-ball
Advanced on an Altar; and, have ey'd
The Snakes, assayling him, on ev'ry side:
Me thinkes, by that, you straight should apprehend
Their state, whom Wealth, and Vertue, doe befriend.
My Iudgement, by that Altar-stone, conceives
The sollidnesse, which, true Religion gives;
And, that fast-grounded goodnesse, which, we see,
In grave, and sound Morality, to be.
The Flying-ball, doth, very well, expresse
All Outward-blessings, and, their ficklenesse.
Our Eaglet, meaneth such Contemplatives,
As, in this world, doe passe away their lives,
By so possessing that which they have got,
As if they car'd not, though, they had it not.
The Snakes, may well resemble those, among them,
Who, meerely out of envie, seeke to wrong them;
And, all these Figures (thus together layd)
Doe speake to me, as if these words, they sayd:
That man, who builds upon the best foundation,
(And spreads the widest wings of Contemplation)
Whil'st, in the flesh, he bides, will need some props
Of earthly-fortunes, to support his hopes:
And, other-while, those things, may meanes become,
The stings of Envie, to secure him from.
And, hence, I learne; that, such, as will abide,
Against all Envie, strongly fortify'd,
Must joyne, great Vertues, and great Wealth, together.
God helpe us, then, poore-soules, who scarce have either!