Forward | Back | Commentary | Whitney | Welcome Page

Whitney's Choice of Emblemes 131

Scripta manent


If mightie TROIE, with gates of steele, and brasse,
Bee worne awaie, with tracte of stealinge time:
If CARTHAGE, raste: if THEBES be growne with grasse.
If BABEL stoope: that to the cloudes did clime:
   If ATHENS, and NUMANTIA suffered spoile:
   If AEGYPT spires, be evened with the soile.

Then, what maye laste, which time dothe not impeache,
Since that wee see, theise monumentes are gone:
Nothinge at all, but time doth over reache,
It eates the steele, and weares the marble stone:
   But writinges laste, thoughe yt doe what it can,
   And are preserv'd, even since the worlde began.

And so they shall, while that they same dothe laste,
Which have declar'd, and shall to future age:
What thinges before three thousande yeares have paste,
What martiall knightes, have march'd uppon this stage:
   Whose actes, in bookes if writers did not save,
   Their fame had ceaste, and gone with them to grave.

Of SAMSONS strengthe, of worthie JOSUAS might.
Of DAVIDS actes, of ALEXANDERS force,
Of CAESAR greate; and Scipio noble knight,
Howe shoulde we speake, but bookes thereof discourse:
   Then favour them, that learne within their youthe:
   But love them beste, that learne, and write the truthe.