University of Virginia Library

Search this document 
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

expand section 


Illvstr. XXIV.

[What meanes this Countrey-peasant, skipping here]

Hee that enjoyes a patient Minde,
Can Pleasures in Afflictions finde.

What meanes this Countrey-peasant, skipping here
Through prickling Thistles wth such gamesom cheere?
And, plucking off their tops, as though for Posies,
He gather'd Violets, or toothlesse Roses?
What meaneth it, but onely to expresse
How great a joy, well-grounded Patientnesse
Retaines in Suff'rings? and, what sport she makes,
When she her Iourney through Affliction takes?
I, oft have sayd (and, have as oft, beene thought
To speake a Paradox, that savours nought
Of likely truth) that, some Afflictions bring
A Honey bag, which cureth ev'ry Sting
(That wounds the Flesh) by giving to the Mind,
A pleasing taste of Sweetnesses refin'd.
Nor can it other be, except in those,
Whose Better part, quite stupifyed growes,
By being Cauterized in the Fires
Of childish Feares, or temporall Desires.
For, as the Valiant (when the Coward swounds)
With gladnesse lets the Surgion search his Wounds;
And, though they smart, yet cheerefully indures
The Plaisters, and, the Probe, in hope of Cures:
So, Men, assured that Afflictions paine
Comes not for vengeance to them, nor in vaine;
But, to prepare, and fit them for the place,
To which, they willingly direct their pace;
In Troubles, are so farre from being sad,
That, of their Suffring, they are truely glad.
What ever others thinke, I thus beleeve;
And, therefore, joy, when they suppose I grieve.