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Whitney's Choice of Emblemes 130

Dicta septem sapientum


The sages seven, whose fame made Grecia glad,
For wisedome greate, amongst theire sainges wise:
Eache one of them, a goulden sentence had.
And Alciat, did the pictures thus devise,
   For to observe the use of Emblems righte,
   Which represent the meaning to our sighte.

Keepe still the meane, did CLEOBULUS teache:
For measure, lo, the ballance joyn'd thereto.
And Knowe thy selfe, did CHILON alwaies preache:
The glasse behoulde, that thou the same maiste doe.
   Restraine thy wrathe, dothe PERIANDER tell:
   And shewes an hearbe, that choller dothe expell.

Nothinge too mutche, did PITTACUS commende,
Thereto a flower, whereof too muche destroyes.
And SOLON sai'd, Remember still thy ende,
Before the which, none can have perfect joyes:
   A piller form'd, declininge downe he showes,
   Which telles that deathe, the strongest overthrowes.

Of wicked men the number dothe exceede:
This BIAS us'd: and cause for foule defame,
SARDINIA moste is stained, as we reade,
On asses backe, behoulde one of the same.
   And THALES, laste of all the Sages, say'd:
   Flee sewertiship, for feare thou be betray'd.

And underneathe, a birde upon the net,
That dothe not feare, the craftie foulers call,
Hereby wee ofte, doe paie an others debte,
And free our frendes, and bringe our selves in thrall:
   Which sayinges wise, whoe keepe them in their brestes,
   By proofe shall finde, they harbour happie guestes.