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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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Illvstratio I

[How Fond are they, who spend their pretious Time]

By Knowledge onely, Life wee gaine,
All other things to Death pertaine.

How Fond are they, who spend their pretious Time
In still pursuing their deceiving Pleasures?
And they, that unto ayery Titles clime
Or tyre themselves in hoording up of Treasures?
For, these are Death's, who, when with wearinesse
They have acquited most, sweepes all away;
And leaves them, for their Labors, to possesse
Nought but a raw-bon'd Carcasse lapt in clay.
Of twenty hundred thousands, who, this houre
Vaunt much, of those Possessions they have got;
Of their new purchac'd Honours, or, the Power,
By which, they seeme to have advanc't their Lott:
Of this great Multitude, there shall not Three
Remaine, for any Future-age to know;
But perish quite, and quite forgotten bee,
As Beasts, devoured twice ten yeares agoe.
Thou, therefore, who desir'st for aye to live,
And to possesse thy Labors maugre Death,
To needfull Arts and honest Actions, give
Thy Spanne of Time, and thy short blast of Breath.
In holy Studies, exercise thy Mind;
In workes of Charity, thy Hands imploy;
That Knowledge, and that Treasure, seeke to find,
Which may enrich thy Heart with perfect Ioy.
So, though obscured thou appeare, awhile,
Despised, poore, or borne to Fortunes low,
Thy Vertue shall acquire a nobler stile,
Then greatest Kings are able to bestow:
And, gaine thee those Possessions, which, nor They,
Nor Time, nor Death, have power to take away.