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catablepe2lift up her head
Her poisonous eyes would look all creatures dead.
She scorcheth up the flowers as she doth go,
Yet the small weasel dares to be her foe.
antipathy3doth all excel:
One kills by sight, the other by his smell4.
Thus with their
counterpoisons5when they meet
They conquered lie at one another’s feet.
Thus, though there be the greatest antipathy,
Yet death doth turn it to a
So the sly
dragon7, wriggling, winds about
The elephant, ’til in his tender snout
She thrusts her head, stopping his vital breath,
Or sucks his blood. Then when this lump of earth
For want of blood and spirits ’gins to fall,
He most triumphant kills his foe and all8.
So did those Israelites who rose up to play
With their own lives
victorious9end the fray.
Even so the adder bit the horse’s heel;
Three thousand at last gasp his strength did feel10.
Thus death doth make all enmity to cease.
When all is dust
(surely) there will be peace11.
Then let none think of death with so much terror,
For by this emblem they may see their error.
Then will I meet it as my last best friend,
my sins and sorrows all will end12.