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

collapse section 
expand section1. 
expand section2. 
collapse section3. 
Illvstr. XLII.
expand section4. 


Illvstr. XLII.

[You little thinke, what plague it is to bee]

My Wit got Wings and, high had flowne.
But, Povertie did keepe mee downe.

You little thinke, what plague it is to bee,
In plight like him, whom pictur'd here you see.
His winged-Arme, and his up-lifted-eyes,
Declare, that hee hath Wit, and Will, to rise:
The Stone, which clogs his other hand, may show
That, Povertie and Fortune, keepe him low:
And, twixt these two, the Bodie and the Mind,
Such labours, and such great vexations finde,
That, if you did not such mens wants contemne,
You could not chuse but helpe, or pitie them.
All Ages had (and, this I know hath some)
Such men, as to this misery, doe come:
And, many of them, at their Lot, so grieve,
As if they knew, (or did at least beleeve)
That, had their Wealth suffiz'd them to aspire
(To what their Witts deserve, and they desire)
The present Age, and future Ages too,
Might gaine have had, from what they thought to doe.
Perhaps I dream'd so once: But, God be prais'd,
The Clog which kept me downe, from being rais'd,
Was chain'd so fast, that (if such Dreames I had)
My thoughts, and longings, are not now so mad.
For, plaine I see, that, had my Fortunes brought
Such Wealth, at first, as my small Wit hath sought;
I might my selfe, and others, have undone,
Instead of Courses, which I thought to runne.
I finde my Povertie, for mee was fit;
Yea, and a Blessing, greater than my Wit:
And, whether, now, I rich or poore become,
Tis nor much pleasing, nor much troublesome.