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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. XXXIX.


Illvstr. XXXIX.

[This Figure warnes us, that wee meddle not]

How ever thou the Viper take.
A dang'rous hazzard thou dost make.

This Figure warnes us, that wee meddle not
With matters, whereby nothing may bee got,
Save harme or losse; and, such as once begun,
Wee may, nor safely doe, nor leave undone.
I should bee loath to meddle in the strife
Arising 'twixt a Husband, and his Wife;
For, Truth conceal'd, or spoke, on either side,
May one or th'other grieve, or both divide.
I would not with my most familiar Mate,
Be Partner in the whole of my estate;
Lest I, by others errors, might offend,
Or, wrong my Family, or, lose my Friend.
I would not, willingly, in my distresse,
From an unworthy hand, receive redresse;
Nor, when I need a Suretie, would I call
An Vnthrist, or a roaring Prodigall:
For, either these I thanklesly must shun,
Or, humour them, and be perhaps undone.
I would not heare my Friend unwisely prate
Those things, of which I must informe the State:
And, seeme unfriendly; or, else leave to doe,
That, which a stronger Band obligeth to.
Nor would I, for the world, my heart should bee
Enthrald by one, that might not marry mee;
Or, such like passions, bee perplexed in,
As hang betwixt a Vertue, and a Stune;
Or, such, as whether way soe're I went,
Occasion'd guilt, or shame, or discontent:
For, howsoe're wee mannage such like things,
Wee handle winding Vipers, that have stings.