University of Virginia Library

Search this document 
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

collapse section 
collapse section1. 
Illvstr. XXX.
expand section2. 
expand section3. 
expand section4. 


Illvstr. XXX.

[Whether the Salamander be a Beast]

Afflictions Fire consumeth Sinne;
But, Vertue taketh Life therein.

Whether the Salamander be a Beast,
Or Precious-Stone, which overcomes the Flame,
It skills not; Since, by either is exprest
The Meaning which we purpose by the same:
Both brooke the Fire unhurt; And (more then so)
The fiercer and the longer Heats there are,
The livelyer in the same the Beast will grow;
And, much the brighter, will the Stone appeare.
This Crowned-Salamander in the Fire,
May, therefore, not unfitly, signifie
Those, who in Fiery Charriots, doe aspire
Elijah-like, to Immortality:
Or, those Heroicke spirits, who unharm'd
Have through the Fires of Troubles, and Affliction,
(With Vertue, and with Innocencie arm'd)
Walkt onward, in the Path-way, of Perfection.
The Fiery-Tryall, which like Wood and Hay,
Consumes the Workes of ev'ry Wicked-one;
(And maketh all their Hopes to fume away)
Doth purifie what Faithfull-men have done.
They triumph in the Flames, and shall obtaine
The glorious Crowne of Endlesse-Happinesse,
When all that show of Blisse appeareth vaine,
Which Worldly men have seemed to possesse.
For, though some Sinnes and Follies, gilded are,
And shine like purest Gold, and Pretious-Stones;
This Test, will finde of what Allay they were,
And, make them knowne but Counterfeited Ones:
For, in this Fornace, all such Wormes expire;
And, none but Vertue liveth in this Fire.