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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. XLVII.
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Illvstr. XLVII.

[The World hath shamelesse Boasters, who pretend]

A Vertue hidden, or not us'd,
Is either Sloth, or Grace abus'd.

The World hath shamelesse Boasters, who pretend,
In sundry matters, to be skill'd so well,
That, were they pleased, so their houres to spend,
They say, they could in many things excell.
But, though they make their hearers to beleeve,
That, out of Modestie their Gifts they hide,
In them wee very plainely may perceive,
Or Sloth, or Envy, Ignorance, or Pride.
When other mens endeavours they peruse,
They either carpe at what they cannot mend;
Or else of Arrogance doe those accuse,
Who, to the publike view, their Workes commend.
If these men say, that they can Poetize,
But, will not; they are false in saying so:
For, he, whose Wit a little that way lies,
Will doing bee, though hee himselfe undoe.
If they, in other Faculties are learned,
And, still, forbeare their Talents to imploy;
The truest Knowledge, yet, is undiscerned,
And, that, they merit not, which they injoy.
Yea, such as hide the Gifts they have received,
(Or use them not, as well as they are able)
Are like fayre Eyes, of usefull sight bereaved;
Or, lighted-Candles, underneath a Table.
Their glorioust part, is but a Painted cloath,
Whose Figures, to the wall-ward, still are hung.
Their hidden Vertues, are apparant Sloth;
And, all their life, is to the publike wrong:
For, they doe reape the Fruits, by many sowne,
And, leave to others, nothing of their owne.