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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. XV.
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Illvstr. XV.

[Observe I pray you, how the greedy Flame]

I pine, that others may not perish,
And waste my Selfe, their Life to cherish.

Observe I pray you, how the greedy Flame
The Fewell, on an Altar doth consume.
How it destroyeth that which feedes the same,
And how the Nourisher away doth fume.
For, so it fares with Parents that uphold
Their thriftlesse Children in unlawfull Pleasures:
With Cares, it weares them out, ere they are old;
And ere their Lives consume, consumes their Treasures.
So fares it with such Wantons as doe feede
Vnchast Desires; for, ev'ry day they grow
Vntill their Longings, their Supplies exceede,
And, quite devoure those men that fed them so.
So fares it with all those that spend their Youth
In lab'ring to enrich ungratefull Men,
Who, growing Great, and Wealthy, by their Truth,
Returne them Smoke and Ashes backe agen.
So fares it with good States-men, who to keepe
A thankelesse Common-wealth in happy Peace,
Deprive their Mindes of Rest, their Eyes of Sleepe,
And, waste themselves, that others may encrease.
And, so it fares with Men that passe away
Their time in Studies, (and their Healths impaire)
That helps to other men become they may,
And, their defective Knowledges, repaire.
But, let my Flesh, my Time, and my Estate,
Be so consum'd; so spent; so wasted bee,
That they may nourish Grace, and perfit that
For which all these were first bestowd'd on me:
So when I quite am vanish'd out of seeing,
I shall enjoy my Now-concealed-Being.