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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. XLVII.

[A Snake, (which was by wise Antiquitie]

Though Fortune, hath a powerfull Name,
Yet, Vertue overcomes the same.

A Snake, (which was by wise Antiquitie
Much us'd, the type of Prudencie to be)
Hemmes in a Winged-ball, which doth imply,
That Fickle-fortune, from which, none are free.
Above this Ball, the Snake advanceth too,
The Laurell, and the Sword; which, Emblems are,
Whereby our Authour maketh much adoe,
A Conquest over Fortune, to declare.
And, well enough this purpose it befits,
If (Reader) any one of those thou be,
Whose Fortunes must be mended by their Wits;
And, it affords instructions fit for thee:
For, hence, thou mayst collect, that, no estate
Can, by Misfortunes means, become so bad,
But, Prudence (who is Mistresse over Fate)
May rule it so, that, good it might be made.
Though Fortunes outlawes, on thy Riches prey,
By Wisedome, there is meanes, of getting more;
And, ev'ry rub that's placed in thy way,
Shall make thee walke more safely, then before.
Nor Poverty, nor Paynes, nor Spightfulnesse,
Nor other Mischiefes, that Mischance can doe thee,
Shall bring thee any sorrow or distresse,
Which will not be, at last, advantage to thee.
Lord, give me such a Prudence: for my Fortune
Puts many foyles, and cruell thrusts upon me:
Thy helpe, long since, it made me to importune;
And, thou didst grant it, or she had undone me.
Still, daigne me thy assistance, Lord, and, than,
Let all Misfortunes, doe the worst they can.