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Prop'd on his staff, and stooping as he goes,
A painted mitre shades his furrow'd brows.
The God in this decrepit form array'd,
The gardens enter'd, and the fruit survey'd;
And "Happy you! (he thus address'd the maid)
"Whofe charms as far all other nymphs out-shine,
“As other gardens are excell'd by thine!”
Then kiss'd the fair; (his kiffes warmer grow
Than fuch as women on their fex bestow.)
Then plac'd befide her on the flowery ground,
Beheld the trees with autumn's bounty crown'd.
An elm was near, to whose embraces led,
The curling vine her fwelling clusters spread :
He view'd her twining branches with delight,
And prais'd the beauty of the pleafing fight.
Yet this tall elm, but for his vine (he faid)
Had stood neglected, and a barren shade;
Innitens baculo, pofitis ad tempora canis,
Adfimulavit anum: cultofque intravit in hortos
Pomaque mirata eft: Tantoque potentior, inquit.
Paucaque laudatae dedit ofcula: qualia nunquam
Vera dediffet anus: glebaque incurva resedit,
Sufpiciens pandos autumni pondere ramos.
Ulmus erat contra, fpatiofa tumentibus uvis :
Quam focia poftquam pariter cum vite probavit ;
At fi ftaret, ait, coelebs, fine palmite truncus,
Nil praeter frondes, quare peteretur, haberet.
And this fair vine, but that her arms furround
Her marry'd elm, had crept along the ground.
Ah! beauteous maid, let this example move
Your mind, averfe from all the joys of love.
Deign to be lov'd, and every heart fubdue!
What nymph could e'er attract such crouds as you? 70
Not the whofe beauty urg'd the Centaur's arms,
Ulyffes' Queen, nor Helen's fatal charms.
Ev'n now, when filent scorn is all they gain,
A thousand court you, though they court in vain,
A thoufand fylvans, demigods, and gods,
That haunt our mountains, and our Alban woods.
But if you'll prosper, mark what I advise,
Whom age and long experience render wise,
And one whofe tender care is far above
All that thefe lovers ever felt of love,
Haec quoque, quae juncta vitis requiefcit in ulmo, 65
Si non nupta foret, terrae adclinata jaceret.
Tu tamen exemplo non tangeris arboris hujus ;
Concubitufque fugis: nec te conjungere curas.
Atque utinam velles! Helene non pluribus effet
Sollicitata procis: nec quae Lapitheïa movit
Proelia, nec conjux timidis audacis Ulyssei.
Nunc quoque. cum fugias averferifque petentes,
Mille proci cupiunt; et femideique deique,
Et quaecunque tenent Albanos numina montes.
Sed tu, fi fapies, fi te bene jungere, anumque
Hanc audire voles, (quae te plus omnibus illis
(Far more than e'er can by yourself be guefs'd)
Fix on Vertumnus, and reject the reft.
For his firm faith I dare engage my own;
Scarce to himself, himfelf is better known.
To diftant lands Vertumnus never roves;
Like contented with his native groves;
Nor at first fight, like most, admires the fair;
For you he lives ; and you alone fhall fhare
His laft affection, as his early care.
Befides, he 's lovely far above the rest,
With youth immortal, and with beauty bleft.
Add, that he varies every shape with ease,
And tries all forms that may Pomona please.
But what fhould most excite a mutual flame,
Your rural cares and pleasures are the same.
To him your orchard's early fruit are due,
(A pleafing offering when 'tis made by you)
Plus quam credis, amo) vulgares rejice taedas :
Vertumnumque tori focium tibi felige: pro quo
Me quoque pignus habe, neque enim fibi notior ille eft,
Quam mihi, nec toto paffim vagus errat in orbe.
Haec loca fola colit; nec, uti pars magna procorum,
Quam modo vidit, amat. tu primus et ultimus illi
Ardor eris; folique fuos tibi devovet annos.
Adde, quod eft juvenis: quod naturale decoris
Munus habet; formasque apte fingetur in omnes :
Et, quod erit juffus (jubeas licet omnia) fiet.
Quid, quod amatis idem? quod, quae tibi poma co-
He values thefe; but yet (alas !) complains,
That still the best and dearest gift remains.
Not the fair fruit that on yon' branches glows
With that ripe red th' autumnal fun bestows;
Nor tasteful herbs that in these gardens rise,
Which the kind foil with milky fap supplies;
You, only you, can move the God's defire:
Oh, crown fo conftant and fo pure a fire!
Let foft compaffion touch your gentle mind;
Think, 'tis Vertumnus begs you to be kind;
So may no froft, when early buds appear,
Destroy the promise of the youthful year;
Nor winds, when firft your florid orchard blows,
Shake the light bloffoms from their blasted boughs!
This when the various God had urg'd in vain,
He ftrait affum'd his native form again;
Such, and fo bright an aspect now he bears,
As when through clouds th' emerging fun appears, 115
Primus habet; laetaque tenet tua munera dextra?
Sed neque jam foetus defiderat arbore demtos,
Nec, quas hortus alit, cum fuccis mitibus herbas; 100
Nec quidquam, nifi te. miferere ardentis: et ipfum,
Qui petit, ore meo praefentem crede precari.-
Sic tibi nec vernum nafcentia frigus adurat
Poma; nec excutiant rapidi florentia venti.
Haec ubi nequicquam formas Deus aptus in omnes, Edidit; in juvenem rediit: et anilia demit Inftrumenta fibi: talifque adparuit illi, Qualis ubi oppofitas nitidiffima folis imago
And thence exerting his refulgent ray,
Difpels the darkness, and reveals the day.
Force he prepar'd, but check'd the rash design;
For when, appearing in a form divine,
The Nymph furveys him, and beholds the
Of charming features, and a youthful face;
In her foft breast confenting paffions move,
And the warm maid confefs'd a mutual love.
Evicit nubes, nullaque obftante reluxit.
Vimque parat: fed vi non eft opus: inque figura
Capta Dei Nympha eft, et mutua vulnera fentit.