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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. XVIII


Illvstr. XVIII

[Although there bee no Timber in the Vine]

Though weaknesse unto mee belong,
In my Supporter, I am strong.

Although there bee no Timber in the Vine,
Nor strength to raise the climbing Ivie-twine,
Yet, when they have a helper by their side,
Or, prop to stay them, like this Pyramide,
One roote sometime, so many Sprayes will beare,
That, you might thinke, some goodly Grove it were:
Their tender stalkes, to climbe aloft, are seene;
Their boughs are cover'd with a pleasant greene;
And, that, which else, had crept upon the ground,
Hath tops of loftie trees, and turrets crown'd.
This Emblem, fitly shadowes out the Natures
Of us, that are the Reasonable-creatures:
For, wee are truely by our nat'rall-birth,
Like Vines undrest, and creeping on the earth;
Nor free from spoyling, nor in case to beare
Good fruits, or leaves, while we are groveling there.
But, if new-borne by Grace, streight borne are wee,
From earthly creepings, by that Living-tree,
Which, here, was planted, meerely to this end,
That, by his pow'r, our weaknesse might ascend.
And, hee our frailtie to himselfe so takes,
So, of his might, the partners us hee makes;
That, hee, in us, doth seeme to hide his pow'rs,
And, make the strength hee gives, appeare as ours.
Continue, Lord, this Grace, and grant wee may,
Firme hold, on our Supporter, alwayes lay:
So climbing, that wee nor neglect, nor hide
His Love; nor over-climbe it, by our Pride.
Thus, our yet staggering weaknesse, shall at length,
Bee fully changed into perfect Strength.