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Whitney's Choice of Emblemes 164

Aliquid mali propter vicinum malum


Two pottes, within a runninge streame weare toste,
The one of yearth, the other, was of brasse:
The brasen potte, who wish'd the other loste,
Did bid it staie, and neare her side to passe.
   Whereby they might, togeather joyned sure:
   Without all doubt, the force of flood indure.

The earthen potte, then thus did answeare make,
This neighborhood doth put me much in feare?
I rather choose, my chaunce farre of to take,
Then to thy side, for to be joyned neare,
   For if wee hitte, my parte shalbe the wurste,
   And thou shalt scape, when I am all to burste.

The running streame, this worldlie sea dothe shewe;
The pottes, present the mightie, and the pore:
Whoe here, a time are tossed too, and froe,
But if the meane, dwell nighe the mighties dore,
   He maie be hurte, but cannot hurte againe,
   Then like, to like: or beste alone remaine.