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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. IIII.
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Illvstr. IIII.

[A Sword unsheathed, and a strangling-Snare]

Marke, what Rewards, to Sinne, are due,
And, learne, uprightnesse to pursue.

A Sword unsheathed, and a strangling-Snare,
Is figur'd here; which, in dumbe-shewes, doe preach,
Of what the Malefactor should beware;
And, they doe threaten too, aswell as Teach.
For, some there are, (would God, that summe were lesse)
Whom, neither good Advise, nor, wholesome Lawe,
Can turne from Pathwaies of Vnrighteousnesse,
If Death, or Tortures, keepe them not in awe.
These, are not they, whose Conscience for the sake
Of Goodnesse onely, Godlinesse, pursues;
But, these are they, who never scruple make
What Guilt, but, what great punishment ensues.
For such as these, this Emblem was prepar'd:
And, for their sakes, in places eminent,
Are all our Gallow-trees, and Gibbets, rear'd;
That, by the sight of them, they might repent.
Let, therefore, those who feele their hearts inclin'd
To any kind of Death-deserving-Crime,
(When they behold this Emblem) change their mind,
Lest, they (too late) repent, another time.
And, let not those our Counsell, now, contemne,
Who, doome poore Theeves to death; yet, guilty be
Of more, then most of those whom they Condemne:
But, let them Learne their perill to foresee,
For, though a little while, they may have hope
To seeme upright, (when they are nothing lesse)
And, scape the Sword, the Gallowes, and the Rope,
There is a Iudge, who sees their wickednesse;
And, when grim Death, shall summon them, from hence,
They will be fully plagu'd for their offence.