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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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The Wreathes of Glory, you affect,
But, meanes to gaine them, you neglect;
And, (though in doing, you delight)
You doe not, alwayes, what is right:
Nor are you growne, as yet, so wise,
To know, to whom the richest Prize
Doth appertaine; nor what it is.
But, now, you are inform'd of This.

See, Emblem I.


Though you are weake, you much may doe,
If you will set your Wits thereto.
For, meaner Powres, than you have had,
And, meaner Wits, good shift have made,
Both to contrive, and compasse that,
Which abler men have wondred at.
Your Strength, and Wit, unite, therefore,
And, both shall grow improov'd the more.

See, Emb. II.


Perhaps, thou mayst be one of them,
Who, Civill Magistrates contemne;
And sleighteth, or else, flouteth at
The Ceremonies of Estate.
That, thou maist, therefore, learne to get,
Both better Manners, and more Wit,
The Sword, and Mace, (by some despiz'd)
Is, for thy sake, now moralliz'd.

See, Emb. III.


By this thy Lot, wee may misdoubt,
Thou look'st not warily about;
But, hudlest onward, without heed,
What went before, or may succeed;
Procuring losse, or discontent,
Which, Circumspection, might prevent.
Therefore, with gratefulnesse, receive
Those counsells, which our Moralls give.

See, Emb. IV.



Thou hast, unworthily, repin'd,
Or, been displeased in thy mind,
Because, thy Fortunes doe not seeme
To fit thy Worth (in thy esteeme:)
And loe, to check thy discontent,
Thy Lot, a Morall, doth present;
And shewes, that, if thou vertuous bee,
Good-Fortune, will attend on thee.

See, Emb. V.


When thy Desires have good successe,
Thine owne Endeavors, thou dost blesse;
But, seldome unto God thou giv'st
Due thanks, for that, which thou receiv'st.
Thine Emblem, therefore, tells from whom
The fruits of good Endeavours, come:
And, shewes (if thou to thrive intend)
On whom, thou, alwayes, must depend.

See, Emb. VI.


It may bee, thou art one of those,
Whose Faith, more bold, than fruitfull growes;
And (building on some false Decree)
Disheartnest those, that Workers be
To gaine (with awfull-joy) that Prize,
Which, unto no man, God denies,
That workes in Hope; and, lives by Faith.
Marke, therefore, what thine Emblem saith.

See, Emb. VII.


Thou hast been willing, that thy Name,
Should live the life of Honest-Fame;
And, that, thy labours (to thy praise)
Continue might, in future dayes.
Behold; the Lot, thou hapnest on,
Hath showne, how this may well bee done.
Pursue the Course, which there is taught,
And, thy desires to passe are brought.

See, Emb. VIII.


Thou, many things, hast well begun,
But, little, to good purpose, done:
Because, thou hast a fickle braine,
And, hands that love to take no paine.
Therefore, it chanceth not amisse,
That, thou hast such a Chance, as this:
For, if thou want not Grace, or Wit,
Thou maist, in time, have good of it.

See, Emb. IX.



Whatev'r you seeme to others, now,
It was the Harrow, and the Plough,
By which, your Predecessors got,
The fairest portion of your Lot:
And, (that, it may encrease your Wit)
They haunt you, in an Emblem, yet.
Peruse our Morall; and, perchance,
Your Profit, it will much advance.

See, Emb. X.


Much labour, and much time you spend,
To get an able-constant Friend:
But, you have ever sought him, there,
Where, no such precious Iewells are:
For, you, without have searching bin,
To finde, what must be found within.
This Friend, is mention'd by this Lot,
But, God knowes where he may be got.

See, Emb. XI.


Thou seek'st for Fame; and, now art showne,
For what, her Trumpet shall be blowne.
Thine Emblem, also, doth declare,
What Fame they get, who vertuous are,
For Praise alone; and, what Reward,
For such like Studies, is prepar'd.
Peruse it; And, this Counsell take;
Bee vertuous, for meere Vertues sake.

See, Emb. XII.


This Lot, those persons, alwayes finds,
That have high thoughts, and loftie minds;
Or, such as have an itch to learne,
That, which doth nothing them concerne;
Or, love to peepe, with daring eyes,
Into forbidden Mysteries.
If any one of these thou bee,
Thine Emblem, lessons hath for thee.

See, Emb. XIII.


If all be true, these Lots doe tell us,
Thou shouldst be of those Fidling-fellowes,
Who, better practised are growne,
In others matters, than their owne:
Or, one, that covets to be thought,
A man, that's ignorant of nought.
If it be so, thy Morall showes
Thy Folly, and what from it flowes.

See, Emb. XIV.



Thou hast some Charge, (who e're thou be)
Which, Tendance may expect from thee:
And, well, perhaps, it may be fear'd,
Tis often left, without regard:
Or, that, thou dost securely sleep,
When, thou should'st watch, more strictly, keep.
Thou knowest best, if it be so:
Take therefore heed, what is to doe.

See, Emb. XV.


In secret, thou dost oft complaine,
That, thou hast hop'd, and wrought in vaine;
And, think'st thy Lot, is farre more hard,
Than what for others is prepar'd.
An Emblem, therefore, thou hast got,
To shew, it is our common-Lot,
To worke and hope; and, that, thou hast
A Blessing by it, at the last.

See, Emb. XVI.


That thou hast Honestie, we grant;
But, Prudence, thou dost often want:
And, therefore, some have injur'd thee,
Who farre more Wise, than honest bee.
That, now, Discretion thou mayst add,
To those good-meanings thou hast had;
The Morall of thine Emblem, view;
And, what it counsels, that, pursue.

See, Emb. XVII.


To your Long-home, you nearer are,
Than you (it may bee) are aware:
Yea, and more easie is the Way,
Than you, perchance, conceive it may.
Lest, therefore, Death, should grim appeare,
And, put you in a causelesse feare;
(Or out of minding wholly passe)
This Chance, to you allotted was.

See, Emb. XVIII.


In slippery Paths, you are to goe;
Yea, they are full of danger too:
And, if you heedfull should not grow,
They'l hazzard much, your overthrow.
But, you the mischiefe may eschew,
If wholsome Counsell, you pursue.
Looke, therefore, what you may be taught,
By that, which this your chance hath brought.

See, Emb. XIX.



This present Lot, concernes full neere,
Not you alone, but all men here;
For, all of us, too little heed
His love, who for our sakes, did bleed.
Tis true, that meanes, hee left behind him,
Which better teacheth how to minde him:
Yet, if wee both by that, and this,
Remember him, 'tis not amisse.

See, Emb. XX.


Tis hop'd, you just, and pious are,
More out of Conscience, than for feare;
And, that you'l vertuous courses take,
For Goodnesse, and for Vertue-sake.
Yet, since the best men, sometimes may
Have need of helpes, in Vertues way,
Those usefull Moralls, sleight you not,
Which are presented by this Lot.

See, Emb. XXI.


This Lot pertaineth unto those,
(And who they bee, God onely knowes)
Who, to the world, have no desire;
But, up to heav'nly things aspire.
No doubt, but you, in some degree,
Indow'd with such Affections bee;
And, had this Emblem, that you might
Encourag'd bee, in such a Flight.

See, Emb. XXII


The state of Temp'rall things to shew,
Yee have them, still, within your view;
For, ev'ry object that wee see,
An Emblem, of them, serves to bee,
But, wee from few things, helps doe finde,
To keepe Eternitie in minde.
This Lot, an Emblem brings, therefore,
To make you thinke upon it more.

See, Emb. XXIII.


Vnlesse you better looke thereto,
Dis-use, and Sloth, will you undoe.
That, which of you despayred was,
With ease, might have bin brought to passe,
Had but so much bin done, as may
Bee equall'd with One Line a day.
Consider this; and, to that end,
The Morall of your Lot attend.

See, Emb. XXIV.



If wee mistake not, thou art one,
Who loves to court the Rising-Sunne;
And, if this Lot, thy nature finde,
Thou to Preferment hast a minde:
If so; learne hence, by whose respect
(Next God) thou mayst thy hopes effect:
Then, seeke to winn his grace to thee,
Of what estate soe're thou bee.

See, Emb. XXV.


Thou to a double-path art come;
And, peradventure, troublesome,
Thou findest it, for thee to know,
On whether hand thou oughtst to goe.
To put thee out of all suspect,
Of Courses that are indirect;
Thy Morall points thee to a path,
Which hardship, but, no perill hath.

See, Emb. XXVI.


You warned are of taking heede,
That, never, you your Bounds exceed;
And, also, that you be not found,
To come within your Neighbours Bound.
There may be some concealed Cause,
That, none but you, this Emblem drawes.
Examine it; And, If you see
A fault, let it amended be.

See, Emb. XXVII.


Your Emblems morall doth declare,
When, Lovers fitly matched are;
And, what the chiefest cause may be,
Why, Friends and Lovers disagree.
Perhaps, you somewhat thence, may learne,
Which your Affection doth concerne.
But, if it Counsell you too late,
Then, preach it at your Neighbours gate.

See, Emb. XXVIII.


Some, vrge their Princes on to Warre,
And weary of sweet Peace, they are.
Some, seeke to make them, dote on Peace,
(Till publike Danger more encrease)
As if the World were kept in awe,
By nothing else but preaching Law.
Thy Morall (if of those thou art)
Doth act a Moderators part.

See, Emb. XXIX.



Tis feared, thou dost lesse esteeme,
Vpright to bee, than so to seeme;
And, if thine actions, faire appeare,
Thou carest not how foule they are.
Though this bee not thy fault alone,
Yet have a care of mending One:
And, study thou, Vpright to grow,
As well in Essence, as in Show.

See, Emb. XXX.


Some, all their time, and wealth have spent,
In giving other men content;
And, would not grudge to waste their Blood,
To helpe advance the Common-good.
To such as these, you have been thought,
Not halfe so friendly as you ought.
This Lot therefore befalls, to shew,
How great respects, to such, are due.

See, Emb. XXXI.


You have been tempted (by your leave)
In hope of Lucre, to deceive:
But, much, as yet, you have not swerv'd
From Faith, which ought to be observ'd.
If well, hereafter, you would speed,
In dealing-honestly, proceed:
For, by your Emblem, you shall see,
That, Honest-men, the richest bee.

See, Emb. XXXII.


We hope, no person, here, beleeves,
That, you are of those wealthy Theeves,
Who, Chaines of gold, and pearle doe weare.
And, of those Theeves, that, none you are,
Which weares a Rope, wee, plainly see;
For, you, as yet unhanged bee:
But, unto God, for Mercie crie,
Else, hang'd you may bee, e're you die.

See, Emb. XXXIII.


You, willing are, to put away,
The thinking on your latter-day:
You count the mention of it, Folly;
A meanes of breeding Melancholly;
And, newes unfit for men to heare,
Before they come to sixtie-yeare.
But, minde what Counsels now are sent,
And, mend, lest you too late repent.

See, Emb. XXXIV.



Your Wits, your Wishes, and your Tongue,
Have run the Wild grose-chase, too long;
And (lest all Reason, you exceed)
Of Rules, and Reines, you now have need.
A Bridle, therefore, and a Square,
Prime Figures, in your Emblem, are.
Observe their Morall, and I pray,
Be Wise, and Sober, if you may.

See, Emb. XXXV.


Because her Ayd makes goodly showes,
You, on the World, your trust repose;
And, his dependance, you despise,
Who, meerly, on God's helpe, relies.
That, therefore, you may come to see,
How pleas'd, and safe, those men may bee,
Who have no ayd, but God, alone;
This Emblem, you have lighted on.

See, Emb. XXXVI.


Some, thinke your Vertue very much;
And, there is cause to thinke it such:
For, many wayes it hath been tride;
And, well the Triall doth abide,
Yet, think not, but some brunts there are,
Which, your owne strength shall never beare.
And, by the Morall of your Lot,
Learne, where, Assistance may bee got.

See, Emb. XXXVII


Thou hast been grieved, and complain'd,
Because, the Truth hath wrong sustain'd.
But, that, dismayd thou shouldst not be,
Thine Emblem will declare to thee,
That, though the Truth may suffer spite,
It shall not bee depressed quite;
But, by opposing, spread the more,
And, grow more pow'rfull than before.

See, Emb. XXXVIII.


By Rashnesse, thou hast often err'd,
Or, else, thou hadst been more preferr'd.
But, future errours, to prevent,
Thou to the slow pac'd Oxe art sent,
To learne more Staydnesse; and, to doe
Thy Workes, with Perseverance, too.
Hee that this creatures Vertue scornes,
May want it all, except his Hornes.

See, Emb. XXXIX.



Dame Fortunes favour seemes to bee
Much lov'd, and longed for, of thee;
As if, in what, her hand bestowes,
Thou mightst thy confidence repose.
But, that, her manners may bee knowne,
This Chance, upon thee, was bestowne.
Consider well, what thou hast got,
And, on her flattrings, dote thou not.

See, Emb. XL.


The Steele and Flint, declare, in part,
The Temper of a Stony-heart;
And, shewe, that thence, no Vertue slowes,
Till it be forced out, with blowes.
Some other, Moralls thou maist learne,
Thereby, which will thy good, concerne:
Marke, therefore, what they doe declare,
And, minde it, as occasions are.

See, Emb. XLI.


Thou thinkst thy Witt, had made thee great,
Had Povertie not beene some let:
But, had thy Wealth as ample beene,
As, thou thy Witt, didst overweene;
Insteed of thy desired Height,
Perhaps, thou hadst beene ruin'd quite.
Hereafter, therefore, be content,
With whatsoever God hath sent.

See, Emb. XLII.


To Discord, thou art somewhat prone,
And, thinkst thou mayst subsist alone;
Regarding not how safe they bide,
Who, fast, in Concords bands, are tide.
But that thou mayst the better heed,
What Good, from Vnion doth proceed,
An Emblem is become thy Lot,
From which, good Caveats may be got.

See, Emb. XLIII.


Thou wouldst be lov'd; and, to that end,
Thou dost both Time, and Labour spend:
But, thou expect'st (as wee beleeve)
More Love, than thou dost meane to give.
If so, thou then, art much to blame:
For Love affects a muturall-flame;
Which, if it faile on either side,
Will never, long time, true abide.

See, Emb. XLIV.



If all your pow'rs, you should unite,
Prevaile in your Desires, you might:
And, sooner should effect your ends,
If you should muster up your Friends.
But, since your Genius doth suspect,
That, you such Policie neglect,
Your Lot presenteth to your view
An Emblem, which instructeth you.

See, Emb. XLV.


Because, thou mayst be one of them,
Who dare the deeds of Kings condemne;
(As if such eyes as theirs and yours
Could view the depth of Sov'raigne pow'rs;
Or, see, how in each Time, and Place,
God rules their hearts, in ev'ry case.)
To check thy sawcinesse, in this,
An Emblem comes not much amisse.

See, Emb. XLVI.


Of many goodly parts thou vauntst;
And, much thou hast, though much thou wantst:
But, well it were, that, lesse, thou hadst,
Vnlesse more use thereof thou mad'st.
That, therefore, thou mightst come to see,
How vaine unpractiz'd vertues bee,
Peruse thine Emblem; and, from thence,
Take usefull heed of thy Offence.

See, Emb. XLVII.


By this thy Lot, it may appeare,
Decayd thy Hopes, or Fortunes are.
But, that, thou mayst no courage lose,
Thine Emblem, by example, showes,
That, as the Moone doth from the Waine
Returne, and fill her Orbe againe:
So, thou thy Fortunes mayst renew,
If, honest Hopes, thou shalt pursue.

See, Emb. XLVIII.


Some Foes, for thee, doe lie in wait,
Where thou suspectest no Deceit;
Yea, many a one, thy harme intends,
Whom thou dost hope will be thy Friends:
Be, therefore, heedfull, whom to trust;
What walke thou tak'st, and what thou dost;
For, by thine Emblem, thou shalt see,
That, warinesse, will needfull bee.

See, Emb. XLIX.



It seemes, by drawing of this Lot,
The day of Death, is much forgot;
And, that, thou needst a faithful Friend,
To minde thee of thy latter-end.
Vnheeded, therefore, passe not by,
What now thine Emblem doth imply;
So, thou shalt heare (without affright)
Death's message, though it were to night.

See, Emb. L.


Thou seek'st by fickle Chance, to gaine,
What thou by Vertue might'st attaine.
Endeavour well, and, nothing shall
To thee, unfortunately fall:
For, ev'ry variable Chance,
Thy firme contentment, shall advance.
But, if thou, yet, remaine in doubt,
Turne Fortunes-wheele, once more, about.


Thy Lot, no Answere will bestow,
To that, which thou desir'st to know;
Nor canst thou, here, an Emblem find,
Which to thy purpose is inclinde.
Perhaps, it is too late to crave,
What thou desirest, now, to have:
Or but in vaine, to mention that,
Which thy Ambition aymeth at.
Then, take it not in evill part,
That, with a Blanck, thou answer'd art.


Although you now refused not,
To trie the Fortune of your Lot;
Yet, you, perhaps, unwilling are,
This company the same should heare,
Lest, some harsh Morall should unfold
Such tricks, as you could wish untold.
But, loe, you need not stand in awe;
For, 'tis a Blanck, which now you draw.


It proves a Blanck; for, to what end,
Should wee a serious Morall spend,
Where, teachings, warnings, and advise,
Esteemed are of little price?
Your onely purpose, is to looke
Upon the Pictures of this Booke,
When, more discretion you have got,
An Emblem shall attend your Lot.



You might have drawne an Emblem, here,
In which your manners pictur'd were:
But, some will vexe, when they shall see
Themselves, so painted out to bee,
And, blame this Booke, as if it had
By some unlawfull Art been made:
(Or, was contriv'd, that, to their shame,
Men, on themselves, might Libels frame)
And, lest you may bee so unwise,
Your Lot, an Emblem, now, denies.


Because, Good Chances, others drew,
To trie these Lots, it pleased you.
But, had you such an Emblem found,
As fits you rightly, you had froun'd;
Or, inwardly, you would have chaft,
Although you outwardly had laugh'd.
You, therefore, very glad may bee,
This proves a Blanck; and, so may wee.