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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. XLV.
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Illvstr. XLV.

[When some, in former Ages, had a meaning]

As soone, as wee to bee, begunne;
We did beginne, to be Vndone

When some, in former Ages, had a meaning
An Emblem, of Mortality, to make,
They form'd an Infant, on a Deaths-head leaning,
And, round about, encircled with a Snake.
The Childe so pictur'd, was to signifie,
That, from our very Birth, our Dying springs;
The Snake, her Taile devouring, doth implie
The Revolution, of all Earthly things.
For, whatsoever hath beginning, here,
Beginnes, immediately, to vary from
The same it was; and, doth at last appeare
What very few did thinke it should become.
The solid Stone, doth molder into Earth,
That Earth, e're long, to Water, rarifies;
That Water, gives an Airy Vapour birth,
And, thence, a Fiery-Comet doth arise:
That, moves, untill it selfe it so impaire,
That from a burning-Meteor, backe againe,
It sinketh downe, and thickens into Aire;
That Aire, becomes a Cloud; then, Drops of Raine:
Those Drops, descending on a Rocky Ground,
There, settle into Earth, which more and more,
Doth harden, still; so, running out the round,
It growes to be the Stone it was before.
Thus, All things wheele about; and, each Beginning,
Made entrance to it owne Destruction, hath.
The Life of Nature, entreth in with Sinning;
And, is for ever, wayted on by Death:
The Life of Grace, is form'd by Death to Sinne;
And, there, doth Life-eternall, straight beginne.