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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. VI.
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Illvstr. VI.

[Unhappy men are they, whose Ignorance]

Though Fortune prove true Vertues Foe,
It cannot worke her Overthrowe.

Unhappy men are they, whose Ignorance
So slaves them to the Fortunes of the Time,
That they (attending on the Lot of Chance)
Neglect by Vertue, and Deserts, to clime.
Poore Heights they be which Fortune reares unto;
And, fickle is the Favour she bestowes:
To-day, she makes; to-morrow, doth undoe;
Builds up, and in an instant overthrowes.
On easie Wheeles, to Wealth, and Honours high,
She windes men oft, before they be aware;
And, when they dreame of most Prosperitie,
Downe, headlong, throwes them lower then they were.
You, then, that seeke a more assur'd estate,
On good, and honest Objects, fixe your Minde,
And follow Vertue, that you may a Fate
Exempt from feare of Change, or Dangers, finde.
For, he that's Vertuous, whether high or low
His Fortune seemes (or whether foule or faire
His Path he findes) or whether friend, or foe,
The World doth prove; regards it not a haire.
His Losse is Gaine; his Poverty is Wealth;
The Worlds Contempt, he makes his Diadem;
In Sicknesse, he rejoyceth, as in Health:
Yea, Death it selfe, becommeth Life, to him.
He feares no disrespect, no bitter scorne,
Nor subtile plottings, nor Oppressions force;
Nay, though the World should topsie-turvie turne,
It cannot fright him, nor divert his Course.
Above all Earthly powres his Vertue reares him;
And, up with Eglets wings, to Heav'n it beares him.