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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. XVII


Illvstr. XVII

[A foole, sent forth to fetch the Goslings home]

The best good-turnes that Fooles can doe us,
Proove disadvantages unto us.

A foole , sent forth to fetch the Goslings home,
When they unto a Rivers brinck were come,
(Through which their passage lay) conceiv'd a feare
His Dames best Brood, might have been drowned there;
Which, to avoyd, hee thus did shew his wit,
And his good nature, in preventing it.
Hee, underneath his girdle, thrusts their heads,
And, then the Coxcombe through the water wades.
Here learne, that when a Foole his helpe intends,
It rather doth a mischiefe, then befriends;
And, thinke, if there be danger in his love,
How harmefull his Maliciousnesse may prove:
For, from his kindenesse, though no profit rise
To doe thee spight, his Malice may suffise.
I could not from a Prince beseech a boone
By suing to his Iester or Buffoone:
Nor, any Fooles vaine humor, sooth or serve,
To get my bread, though I were like to starve.
For, to be poore, I should not blush so much,
As if a Foole should raise me to be rich.
Lord, though of such a kinde my faults may be,
That sharpe Affliction still must tutor mee,
(And give me due Correction in her Schooles)
Yet, oh preserve me from the scorne of Fooles.
Those wicked Fooles, that in their hearts have sed
There is no God; and, rather give me Bread
By Ravens, Lord, or in a Lions Den,
Then by the Favours of such foolish men:
Lest, if their dainties I should swallow downe,
Their smile might more undoe, me, then their frowne.