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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. XLII.

[The prettie Bees, with daily paines contrive]

Wee, bring the Hony to the Hive;
But, others, by our labours thrive.

The prettie Bees, with daily paines contrive
Their curious Combes, and from the flowry Fields,
Doe bring that pleasant sweetnesse to their Hive,
Which Nectar, and Ambrosiack dainties, yeelds,
Yet, when themselves with labours they have tir'd,
The following Winters famine to prevent,
For their good service, either they are fir'd,
Or, forth into an emptie Hive are sent:
And, there, with slender diet they are served,
To leave another Summers worke, to those
Who take no care, though all the swarme be starved,
If weake and quite past labour once it growes.
As with such Bees, it fares with many a one,
That, spends his youthfull time in honest thrift;
And, by the Waspe, the Hornet, or the Drone,
Of all their labours, they are soone bereft.
Sometime, the bordring Flies, much wrong this brood,
Through idle visitings; or, them despoyle,
By making friendly shewes of neighbourhood;
When, all their Complements, are nought but guile.
Sometime, their powerfull Foes doe rob them quite;
Sometime, their Lords, or Landlords, with pretence,
Of claiming only what is just and right,
Oppresse them without mercie, or defence.
Thus, by one course or other, daily, some
(That are laborious in an honest way)
The prey of Pride, or Idlenesse become:
And, such as these, may therefore truely say,
That, whatsoever they to passe have brought,
Not for themselves, but others, they have wrought.