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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. XVII.
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Illvstr. XVII.

[When from the harmelesse Turtle, and the Snake]

Man's life, no Temper, more doth blesse,
Then Simple-prudent-harmelessenesse.

When from the harmelesse Turtle, and the Snake,
Their most commended properties wee take,
(And, mixe them well) they make a composition,
Which yeelds a temper of the best condition.
Yet, wickednesse, or sorrow, doth abound,
Where, any one of these, alone, is found:
For, whensoe're the Serpents-braine we find,
With which, there is no Dove like-meekenesse joyn'd,
(Without all peradventure) thence proceedes,
All harmefull fraud, and all injurious deedes.
And, where such meekenesse as doth seeme to be
In harmelesse Doves, divided you shall see
From that discretion, and that policie,
Which in the Serpents head, is thought to lie;
They liable to ev'ry wrong become;
And, to it selfe, make Vertue burthensome.
But, where these two are ioyned, they procure
A life so sweet, so rich, and so secure,
That, all the pow'rs of Malice cannot shake
Their out-workes, nor within them, terrors make.
Vouchsafe thou oh my God! vouchsafe, in me,
That these two Vertues may vnited be.
Such Prudence give, as never will disdaine
The Dove-like Innocencie, to retaine.
That meekenesse, grant me, which aelighteth not,
It selfe, with indiscretion, to besot:
But, let these two, each other so defend,
And, so, in me continue, till my end,
That, simple-prudence, I may still possesse,
Although the World shall count it foolishnesse.