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

expand section 


Illvstr. VIII.

[The Laurell, which is given for a Crowne]

By Wisedome, things which passe away,
Are best preserved from decay.

The Laurell, which is given for a Crowne
(To men deserving Glory, and renowne)
Is figur'd here, those noble deeds to show,
For which, the Wreaths of Honour, we bestow.
Two Serpents (Wisdome's Emblems) twisted are
About this branch of Laurell, to declare,
That, Wisdome is the surest meanes to save
Our Names and Actions, from Oblivion's Grave.
The Snakes are two, perhaps, to signifie
That Morall-wit, and Christian policie
(Vnited both together) doe contrive
The safest guard, and best preservative.
Consider this, all yee, that trust your Names
To Marble Monuments; or, mount your Fames
By those poore meanes, which Fooles and Knaves pursue;
And, may effect as easily as you:
Nay, with more ease; and, overtop you too,
When you have done the best, your wits can doe.
I say, consider this; and, let the Pen
Of learned, wise, and understanding men,
Renowne your worths, and register the story
Of your deserved, and, well-gotten glory;
Lest, else, it suffer close-imprisonments,
Within the walls of such poore Monuments,
As oft are built, to leave it quite forgotten,
Whose bones they cover'd, e're those bones be rotten.
But, you shall best preserve your Honest-fame,
Your Workes, your Hopes, and Honours of your Name,
If you your selves be wise; and, so provide
That Prudence, all your Workes, and Speeches guide.