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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. XIV


Illvstr. XIV

[They are not Houses builded large and high]

The best, and fairest House, to mee,
Is that, where best I love to bee.

They are not Houses builded large and high,
Seel'd all with Gold, and pav'd with Porphyrie,
Hung round with Arras, glaz'd with Christall-glasse,
And cover'd o're with plates of shining Brasse,
Which are the best; but, rather, those where wee
In safetie, health, and best content, may bee;
And, where wee finde, though in a meane Estate,
That portion, which maintaines a quiet Fate.
Here, in a homely Cottage, thatcht with reed,
The Peasant seemes as pleasedly to feed,
As hee, that in his Hall or Parlour dines,
Which Fret-worke Roofes, or costly Cedar Lines:
And, with the very same affections too,
Both to, and from it, hee doth come and goe.
The Tortois, doubtlesse, doth no house-roome lack,
Although his House will cover but his back;
And, of his Tub, the Cynicke seem'd as glad,
As Alexander was of all hee had.
When I am setled in a place I love,
A shrubby hedge-row, seemes a goodly Grove.
My liking maketh Palaces of Sheds,
And, of plaine Couches, carved Ivory Beds:
Yea, ev'ry path, and pathlesse walke, which lies
Contemn'd, as rude, or wilde, in others eyes,
To mee is pleasant; not alone in show,
But, truly such: For, liking makes them so.
As pleas'd in theirs, the Snailes, and Cocles dwell,
As doth a Scallop in his pearly shell:
For, that commends the House, which makes it fit,
To serve their turnes, who should have use of it.