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Whitney's Choice of Emblemes 102

In sortis suae contemptores

Here DAMOCLES, desirous for to taste,
The princelie fare, of DIONYSIUS kinge,
In royall seate, was at the table plaste,
Where pages brave, all daintie cates did bringe:
   His bed of goulde, with curious coveringes spred,
   And cubbourdes ritche, with plate about his bed.

No where hee stay'de, but musique sweete did sounde;
No where hee went, but hee did odors smell;
Nowe in his pompe, when all thinges did abounde,
Being ask'd, if that this life did please him well:
   Hee aunswere made, it was the heaven alone,
   And that to it, all other lives weare none.

Then, did the king comaunde a naked sworde,
Unto the roofe, shoulde with a heare bee knit:
That right shoulde hange, when hee was plac'd at bourde,
Above his head, where he did use to sit:
   Which when hee sawe, as one distracte with care,
   Hee had no joye in mirthe, nor daintie fare.

But did beseech, the Tyraunt for to give,
His former state, and take his pompe againe:
By which, wee learne, that those who meanely live,
Have ofte more joye, them those who rule and raigne:
   But cheifelye, if like him they doe appeare,
   Who night, and daye, of subjectes stoode in feare.