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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. XXV.

[Here, we an Aged-man described have]

To Learning, J a love should have,
Although one foot were in the Grave.

Here, we an Aged-man described have,
That hath one foot, already, in the Grave:
And, if you marke it (though the Sunne decline,
And horned Cynthia doth begin to shine)
With open booke, and, with attentive eyes,
Himselfe, to compasse Knowledge, he applyes:
And, though that Evening, end his last of dayes,
Yet, I will study, more to learne, he sayes.
From this, we gather, that, while time doth last,
The time of learning, never will be past;
And, that, each houre, till we our life lay downe,
Still, something, touching life, is to be knowne.
When he was old, wise Cato learned Greeke:
But, we have aged-folkes, that are to seeke
Of that, which they have much more cause to learne;
Yet, no such minde in them, wee shall discerne.
For, that, which they should studie in their prime,
Is, oft, deferred, till their latter time:
And, then, old age, unfit for learning, makes them,
Or, else, that common dulnesse overtakes them,
Which makes ashamed, that it should be thought,
They need, like little children, to be taught.
And, so, out of this world, they doe returne
As wise, as in the weeke, when they were borne.
God, grant me grace, to spend my life-time so,
That I my duety still may seeke to know;
And, that, I never, may so farre proceed,
To thinke, that I, more Knowledge, doe not need:
But, in Experience, may continue growing,
Till I am fill'd with fruits of pious-knowing.