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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. XL.

[When you doe next behold the wanton Flyes]

Those Fooles whom Beauties Flame doth blinde,
Feele Death, where Life they thought to finde.

When you doe next behold the wanton Flyes
About the shining Candle, come to play,
Vntill the Light thereof hath dimm'd their Eyes,
Or, till the Flame hath sing'd their Wings away:
Remember, then, this Emblem; and, beware
You be not playing at such harmefull Games:
Consider, if there sit no Female, there,
That overwarmes you, with her Beauties Flames.
Take heed, you doe not over dally so
As to inflame the Tinder of Desire;
But, shun the Mischiefe, e're too late it grow,
Lest you be scorched in that Foolish-Fire.
For, as those Wandring-Fires which in the Night,
Doe leade unwary Trauellers astray,
Alluring them, by their deceiving Sight,
Till they have altogether lost their way:
Right so, fantasticke Beauty doth amaze
The Lust-full Eye, allures the Heart aside,
Captives the Senses (by a sudden blaze)
And, leaves the Iudgement wholly stupify'd.
Nay, if Men play too long about those Torches,
Such is the Nature of their wanton Flame,
That, from their Bodies (unawares) it scorches
Those Wings and Feet, on which they thither came.
It wasteth (ev'n to nothing) all their Wealth,
Consumes their precious Time, destroyes their Strength,
Bespots their Honest-Fame, impaires their Health,
And (when their Fatall Thread is at the length)
That thing, on which their Hope of Life is plac't,
Shall bring them to Destruction, at the last.