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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. XLVIII.

[This Infant, and this little Trusse of Hay]

All Flesh, is like the wither'd Hay,
And, so it strings, and fades away.

This Infant, and this little Trusse of Hay,
When they are moralized, seeme to say,
That, Flesh is but tuft of Morning Grasse,
Both greene, and wither'd, ere the day-light passe.
And, such we truly finde it; for, behold,
Assoone as Man is borne, hee waxeth old,
In Griefes, in Sorrowes, or Necessities;
And, withers ev'ry houre, untill hee dyes:
Now, flourishing, as Grasse, when it is growne,
Straight perishing, as Grasse, when it is mowne.
If, wee with other things, mans Age compare,
His Life is but a Day (For, equall'd are
His Yeares with Houres: His Months, with Minutes bee
Fit parallels; and, ev'ry breathing, wee
May tearme a Day) yet, some, ev'n at the Night
Of that short Day, are dead, and witherd quite.
Before the Morning of our lives bee done,
The Flesh oft fades: Sometime, it growes till Noone:
But, there's no mortall Flesh, that will abide
Vnparched longer, than till Evening-tide.
For, in it selfe, it alwayes carries that,
Which helpeth so, it selfe to ruinate;
That, though it feele, nor storme, nor scorching flame,
An inbred Canker, will consume the same.
Considering well, and well remembring this,
Account the Flesh no better than it is:
Wrong not thine everlasting Soule, to cherish
A Gourd, which in a moments time will perish.
Give it the tendance, fit for fading Crops;
But, for Hay harvest, lose not better hopes.