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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. XIX.

[A travailer, when he must undertake]

His Pace, must wary be, and slow,
That hath a Slippery-way to goe.

A travailer, when he must undertake
To seek his passage, o're some Frozen Lake,
With leisure, and with care, he will assay
The glassy smoothnesse of that Icie-way,
Lest he may slip, by walking over-fast;
Or, breake the crackling Pavement, by his hast:
And, so (for want of better taking heed)
Incurre the mischiefes of Vnwary-speed.
We are all Travellers; and, all of us
Have many passages, as dangerous,
As Frozen lakes; and, Slippery-wayes, we tread,
In which our Lives may soone be forfeited,
(With all our hopes of Life-eternall, too)
Unlesse, we well consider what we doe.
There is no private Way, or publicke Path,
But rubs, or holes, or slipp'rinesse it hath,
Whereby, wee shall with Mischiefes meet; unlesse,
Wee walke it, with a stedfast-warmesse.
The steps to Honour, are on Pinacles
Compos'd of melting Snow, and Isicles;
And, they who tread not nicely on their tops,
Shall on a suddaine slip from all their hopes.
Yea, ev'n that way, which is both sure and holy,
And, leades the Minde from Vanities and Folly,
Is with so many other Path-wayes crost,
As, that, by Rashnesse, it may soone be lost;
Vnlesse, we well deliberate, upon
Those Tracts, in which our Ancestours have gone:
And, they who with more haste, then heed, will runne,
May lose the way, in which they well begunne.