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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. XXVII.


Illvstr. XXVII.

[This vulgar Figure of a winged glasse]

Live, ever mindfull of thy dying;
For, Time is alwayes from thee flying.

This vulgar Figure of a winged glasse,
Doth signifie, how swiftly Time doth passe.
By that leane Scull, which to this houre-glasse clings,
We are informed what effect it brings;
And, by the Words about it, wee are taught
To keepe our latter ending still in thought.
The common houre-glasse, of the Life of Man,
Exceedeth not the largenesse of a span.
The Sand-like Minutes, flye away so fast,
That, yeares are out, e're wee thinke months are past:
Yea, many times, our nat'rall-day is gone,
Before wee look'd for twelve a clocke at Noone;
And, where wee sought for Beautie, at the Full,
Wee finde the Flesh quite rotted from the Skull.
Let these Expressions of Times passage, bee
Remembrancers for ever, Lord, to mee;
That, I may still bee guiltlesse of their crime,
Who fruitlesly consume their precious Time:
And, minde my Death; not with a slavish feare,
But, with a thankfull use, of life-time, here:
Not grieving, that my dayes away doe post;
But, caring rather, that they bee not lost,
And, lab'ring with Discretion, how I may
Redeeme the Time, that's vainely slipt away.
So, when that moment comes, which others dread,
I, undismay'd, shall climbe my dying-bed;
With joyfull Hopes, my Flesh to dust commend;
In Spirit, with a stedfast Faith ascend;
And, whilst I living am, to sinne so dye,
That dying, I may live eternally.