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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. X.

[Before the Plowman hopefull can be made]

Ere thou a fruitfull-Cropp shalt see,
Thy ground must plough'd and harro'wd be.

Before the Plowman hopefull can be made,
His untill'd earth good Hay or Corne will yeeld,
He breakes the hillocks downe, with Plough or Spade;
And, harrowes over, all the cloddie Field.
Then, from the leaveld-ground, at last, he mowes
That Cropp of grasse, which he had hope to gaine;
Or, there, doth reape the fruit of what he sowes,
With profit, which contents him for his paine.
Our craggie-Nature must be tilled, thus,
Before it will, for Herbes of Grace, be fit.
Our high-conceit, must downe be broke in us;
Our heart is proud, and God must humble it.
Before good Seed, in us will rooting take,
Afflictions ploughes and harrowes, must prepare us:
And, that the truer levell, he may make,
When we are sunck too low, Gods hand must reare us.
Then, neither stormings of Adversitie,
Shall drowne the Seedes of Hope, which we have sowne;
Nor shall the Sunne-beames of Prosperitie,
Drie up their moisture, ere they ripe are growne.
Oh Lord, thou know'st the nature of my minde;
Thou know'st my bodyes tempers what they are;
And, by what meanes, they shall be best inclin'de
Such Fruits to yeeld, as they were made to beare.
My barren Soule, therefore, manure thou so;
So, harrow it; so emptie, and so fill;
So raise it up, and bring it downe, so low
As best may lay it levell to thy Will.
In this Desire, the worke is well begunne;
Say thou the Word, and all is fully done.