University of Virginia Library

Search this document 
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

collapse section 
expand section1. 
expand section2. 
collapse section3. 
Illvstr. III.
expand section4. 


Illvstr. III.

[When thou behold'st, upon a Day of State]

To Kings, both Sword and Mace pertaine;
And, these they doe not beare in vaine.

When thou behold'st, upon a Day of State,
The King (or, some inferiour Magistrate)
Walke forth in publicke, and the royall Mace,
The Sword, or Scepter borne before his face:
Suppose thou not, that those are carried, so,
In ostentation, or for idle show.
These vulgar Emblems, are significant;
And, that authority, which Princes grant
To Bodies politicke, was, heretofore
Declared, by those Ensignes, which they bore.
The bruzing Mace (although, perhaps, with us,
It be not in these times, restrained thus)
That branch of Royall-power did signifie,
Which doth by Fines, or losse of liberty,
Correct Offenders. By the Sword, they meant,
That larger branch of pow'r, to represent,
Which takes the Malefactors life away;
And, armes it selfe, when Rebells disobay.
As often, therefore, as thou shalt espie
Such Hieroglyphickes of Authority;
Be mindefull, and advis'd (how meane soere
The Persons, or the Places may appeare,
Who get this pow'r) that still thou honour them:
Left, thou in those, the pow'r of God contemne.
If not for theirs, yet for thy Sov'raignes cause,
Whom these doe personate; Or, for the Lawes,
(Which threaten punishment) thy selfe submit;
And, suffer what Authority thinkes fit:
For, whatsoere they be that guide the Reyne,
He, gave the pow'r, who gave it, not, in vaine.