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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. XXXI.
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Illvstr. XXXI.

[If this nigh-wasted Candle, you shall view]

My Substance, and my Light, are spent,
In seeking other mens content.

If this nigh-wasted Candle, you shall view,
And, heed it well, it may enlighten you
To looke with more compassion, on their paines,
Who rob themselves, to multiply your gaines.
The Taper burnes, to give another light,
Ev'n till it selfe, it hath consumed quite;
And, all the profit, which it thence doth winne,
Is to be snufft, by ev'ry Commer-in.
This is the Lot of some, whom I have knowne,
Who, freely, all their life-time, have bestowne
In such industrious labour, as appeares,
To further others profits, more then theirs;
And, all their Patrimonies, well nigh spent,
The ruining of others, to prevent.
The wit, the strength, and all the pow'r they had,
(Which might, by probability, have made
Good meanes to raise them, in this world, as high,
As most, who climbe to wealthy dignity)
Ev'n these, they have bestow'd, to better them,
Who their indeavours, for their paines, contemne.
These are those Lamps, whose flames, from time to time,
Have through each Age, and through-our ev'ry Clime,
To one another, that true Light convey'd,
Which Ignorance, had, els, long since betray'd
To utter darknesse. These, despightfull Pride
Oft snuffs; and, oft, to put them out, hath try'd.
But, from the brightnesse of such Lights, as they,
We got our Light of knowledge, at this day.
To them, God make us kinder; and to Him,
More thankfull, that we gain'd such light by them.