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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 HIGH AND MIGHTY Prince, JAMES, Duke of Lennox, &c.

VVhen Richmond, your beloved Vnkle, liv'd,
(For whose departure, all this Empire griev'd,
And, yet laments) his GRACE did not refuse
To deigne respects, to my obscured MVSE;
Nor scorne, from Highest-worth, to stoope so low,
As, mee, in my despisednesse, to know:
And, had not Bashfulnesse restrain'd my Wit,
From pressing-on, (when he incourag'd it,)
My Pegasvs, had learn'd, e're now, to rise,
Which, yet, with lame, and sickly Feathers flies.
But, HEE hath left us; and, I thought not on
The losse I had of HIM, till he was gone;
Nor could I dreame, till he did hence ascend,
What t'was to want an Honourable-friend:
Nor, what they feele, whom Fate constraines, to tarry
On stormy Plaines, without a SANCTVARIE.
Assoone, as from among us, he made wing,
My Hopes did waine, and, I began to sing
A Mournfull-song, not easie to forget;
Because, I beare the burthen of it, yet.
Nor was I silent (though my Epicede
Appear'd not, for the publike eye to reade)
But, griev'd in private, as one wanting Art,
To give, the Life of praise, to his desart:
Which, if I could have equall'd with his Name,
His Death had gain'd my Verse, a living-Fame.
And, why expresse I this? except it give
Your GRACE, a sit occasion to perceive,
That, my decayed Hopes I would renew,
And, faine derive them downe, from HIM to YOV?
That, as you branched from his Princely Stemme;
(Are, honour'd with his Ducall-Diadem)
And, imitate his Vertue; So, you might
Be Lord, in mee, of that, which was his right:
And, for his Noble sake, vouchsafe to own
A Servant, which, to you, is yet unknowne.
As Prologue, to the service I intend,
This PRESENT comes; and, without Hope, or End,
Of gaining further Grace, or more Esteeme,
Than may, with humblest modestie, beseeme
His Love, and Honest-meaning, to expect,
Whose Merits have, no visible effect,
Conducing to your profit; and, from whom
The best of his intents, are yet to come.
I cannot thinke, these Lots, or Emblems, are
So worthy in themselves, as they'l appeare
In your acceptance; Or, that they can give,
Such Grace to YOV, as they'l from you receive.


Yet, if YOV please, they may be, otherwhile,
A profitable Meanes, to help beguile
A Melancholy thought; And, have the pow'r
To shorten (without losse) a tedious howre.
Sometime (no doubt) content you are to walke
In Artlesse Groves; Or, to admit the talke
Of Rustick Swaines (though ev'ry day you might
Your self in well-trim'd garden-bowr's, delight,
Or, heare the learnedst Muses, when you please;)
Ev'n so, for change you may, perhaps, in these
A Recreation finde; and, in some measure,
A Profit, intermixed with your Pleasure.
I will not make my Promises too large,
Lest, my Performances, they overcharge
With Expectation: but, I leave them, SIR,
To Bee, and to be thought, the same they are.
And, if your EXCELLENCE, (when you behold
The Ground whereon I first became so bold,
To make this Entrance) shall vouchsafe to daigne
Those Favours, which, I dare not thinke to gaine
By Meer-deserving; you may then, perchance,
My Willingnesse, to Ablenesse advance:
And reap in Mee (when ripened they are grown)
Some timely fruits, of that, which you have sown.
Till then, let it suffice, that I professe
A cheerefull, and a thankfull Readinesse
To honour Yov; and, openly to show
The Dutie, which, it may appeare, I owe
To HIM that's gone. And, let your GRACE descend
To take this Pledge, of what I more intend.
Who am in all humilitie Your Graces to be commanded, Geo: Wither.