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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. I.

[When I observe the Melanchollie Owles]

We best shall quiet clamorous Thronges,
When, we our selves, can rule our Tongues.

When I observe the Melanchollie Owles,
Considering with what patience, they sustaine
The many clamours, of the greater Fowles;
And, how the little Chirpers, they disdaine:
When I remember, how, their Injuries
They sleight, (who, causeles give them an offence)
Vouchsafing, scarce to cast aside their eyes
To looke upon that foolish Insolence.
Me thinkes, by their Example, I am taught
To sleight the slaunders of Injurious Tongues;
To set the scoffes of Censurers, at naught,
And, with a brave neglect, to beare out Wrongs.
Hee, doubtles, whom the Psalmist, long agoe,
Vnto a lonely Desert-Owle compar'd,
Did practise thus; And, when I can doe so,
I, shall for all affronts, become prepar'd.
And, (though, this Doctrine, Flesh and blood gaine-say)
Yet, sure, to stopp the malice of Despight,
There is no better, (nay, no other) way:
Since, Rage by Opposition gathers Might.
Good God! vouchsafe, sufficient grace and strength,
That (though I have not yet, such Patience gott)
I may attaine this happy gift, at length;
And, finde the cause, that, yet, I have it not.
Though me, my Neighbours, and my Foes revile;
Make me of all their words, a Patient-bearer:
When er'e I suffer, let me be, the while,
As is the silent Lambe before the Shearer.
So; though my speakings, cannot quiet any,
My Patience may restraine the Tongues of many.