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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. XIIII.
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Illvstr. XIIII.

[There be of those in every Common-weale]

A Candle that affords no light,
What profits it, by Day, or Night?

There be of those in every Common-weale,
Whom to this Emblem we resemble may;
The Name of none I purpose to reveale,
But, their Condition, heere, I will display.
Some, both by gifts of Nature, and of Grace,
Are so prepared, that, they might be fit
To stand as Lights, in profitable place;
Yet, loose their Talent, by neglecting it.
Some, to the common Grace, and nat'rall parts,
(By helpe of Nurture, and good Discipline)
Have added an accomplishment of Arts,
By which, their Light may much the brighter shine.
Some others, have to this, acquired more:
For, to maintaine their Lampe, in giving light,
Of Waxe, and Oyle, and Fatnesse, they have store,
Which over-flowes unto them, day and night.
And, ev'n as Lampes, or Candles, on a Table,
(Or, fixt on golden Candlesticks, on high)
To light Assemblies, Great and Honourable,
They, oft, have (also) place of Dignitie.
By meanes of which, their Splendor might become
His praise, who those high favours did bequeath:
They might encrease the Light of Christendome,
And, make them see, who sit in shades of Death.
But, many of them, like those Candles bee,
That stand unlighted in a Branch of gold:
For, by their helpe wee nothing more can see,
Than wee in grossest darknesse, may behold.
If such there be, (as there bee such, I feare.)
The question is, For what good use they are.