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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. XXXVIII.
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Illvstr. XXXVIII.

[When th'Ancients made a solemne League or Vow]

A sudden Death, with Shame, is due
To him, that, sweares What is untrue.

When th'Ancients made a solemne League or Vow,
Their Custome was to ratifie it, thus;
Before their Idoll God, they slew a Sow,
And sayd aloud; So be it unto us.
Implying, that, if otherwise they did
Then had been vow'd; or, if within their Brest
A Fraudulent-Intention had beene hid,
They merited such Vsage, as that Beast.
For, by the Swine that they had slaughtred so,
(Which, during Life, was helpefull unto none)
Of Life deprived by a sudden blow,
And, then, cast out, that none might feed thereon;
They, mystically did inferre; that, he
Who falsify'd that Oath which he had sworne,
Deserv'd, by Sudden-Death, cut off to be;
And, as a Beast uncleane, to lye forlorne.
That Heathenish Hieroglyphicke, doth implye
This Christian Doctrine; that, we should in Vowes,
In Leagues, and Oathes, assume no Liberty,
But, what sincerest Honesty allowes.
By Swine, the babbling Sophisters are meant,
In Hieroglyphicall Signification;
Which wee doe Sacrifice, when our intent
Is free from Falsehood, and Æquivocation.
And, this, let ev'ry Man endeavour for,
Who loves the Blessings, for just men prepar'd;
Or, if the Sinne he doe not much abhorre,
At least, the Danger let him well regard:
For, to pursue him, Vengeance never leaves,
That falsely Sweares, or willingly Deceives.