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Whitney's Choice of Emblemes 132

De morte, et amore: Jocosum

To EDWARD DYER Esquier.

While furious Mors, from place, to place did flie,
And here, and there, her fatall dartes did throwe:
At lengthe shee mette, with Cupid passing by,
Who likewise had, bene busie with his bowe:
   Within one Inne, they bothe togeather stay'd,
   And for one nighte, awaie theire shooting lay'd.

The morrowe next, they bothe awaie doe haste,
And eache by chaunce, the others quiver takes:
The frozen dartes, on Cupiddes backe weare plac'd,
The fierie dartes, the leane virago shakes:
   Whereby ensued, such alteration straunge,
   As all the worlde, did wonder at the chaunge.

For gallant youthes, whome Cupid thoughte to wounde,
Of love, and life, did make an ende at once.
And aged men, whome deathe woulde bringe to grounde:
Beganne againe to love, with sighes, and grones;
   Thus natures lawes, this chaunce infringed soe:
   That age did love, and youthe to grave did goe.

Till at the laste, as Cupid drewe his bowe,
Before he shotte: a younglinge thus did crye,
Oh Venus sonne, thy dartes thou doste not knowe,
They pierce too deepe: for all thou hittes, doe die:
   Oh spare our age, who honored thee of oulde,
   Theise dartes are bone, take thou the dartes of goulde.

Which beinge saide, a while did Cupid staye,
And sawe, how youthe was almoste cleane extinct:
And age did doate, with garlandes freshe, and gaye,
And heades all balde, weare newe in wedlocke linckt:
   Wherefore he shewed, this error unto Mors,
   Who miscontent, did chaunge againe perforce.

Yet so, as bothe some dartes awaie convay'd,
Which weare not theirs: yet unto neither knowne,
Some bonie dartes, in Cupiddes quiver stay'd,
Some goulden dartes, had Mors amongst her owne.
   Then, when wee see, untimelie deathe appeare:
   Or wanton age: it was this chaunce you heare.