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Remove your hands, the bark shall soon suffice
Without their aid to seal these dying eyes."
She ceas'd at once to speak, and ceas'd to be,
And all the nymph was lost within the tree;
Yet latent life thro' her new branches reign'd,
And long the plant a human heat retain'd."
Plura loqui nequeo. nam jam per candida mollis
Colla liber serpit, summoque cacumine condor.
Ex oculis removete manus: sine munere vestro
Contegat inductus morientia lumina cortex."
Desierant simul ora loqui, simul esse: diuque
Corpore mutato rami caluere recentes."
FROM THE FOURTEENTH BOOK OF
THE fair Pomona flourish'd in his reign;
Of all the virgins of the sylvan train
None taught the trees a nobler race to bear,
Or more improv'd the vegetable care.
To her the shady grove, the flow'ry field,
The streams and fountains, no delights could yield;
'Twas all her joy the rip'ning fruits to tend,
And see the boughs with happy burthens bend.
The hook she bore instead of Cynthia's spear,
To lop the growth of the luxuriant year,
To decent forms the lawless shoots to bring,
And teach th' obedient branches where to spring.
Now the cleft rind inserted graffs receives,
And yields an offspring more than Nature gives;
REGE Sub hoc Pomona fuit: qua nulla Latinas
Inter Hamadryadas coluit solertius hortos,
Nec fuit arborei studiosior altera fœtus:
Unde tenet nomen. Non sylvas illa, nec amnes;
Rus amat, et ramos felicia poma ferentes.
Nec jaculo gravis est, sed adunca dextera falce:
Qua modo luxuriem premit, et spatiantia passim
Brachia compescit; fissa modo cortice virgam
Inserit; et succos alieno præstat alumno,
Now sliding streams the thirsty plants renew,
And feed their fibres with reviving dew.
These cares alone her virgin breast employ,
Averse from Venus and the nuptial joy.
Her private orchards, wall'd on ev'ry side,
To lawless sylvans all access deny'd.
How oft the Satyrs and the wanton Fawns,
Who haunt the forests, or frequent the lawns,
The god, whose ensign scares the birds of prey,
And old Silenus, youthful in decay,
Employ'd their wiles and unavailing care
To pass the fences, and surprise the fair!
Like these Vertumnus own'd his faithful flame,
Like these rejected by the scornful dame.
To gain her sight a thousand forms he wears,
And first a reaper from the field appears:
Nec patitur sentire sitim; bibulæque recurvas
Radicis fibras labentibus irrigat undis.
Hic amor, hoc studium. Veneris quoque nulla cupido.
Vim tamen agrestum metuens, pomaria claudit
Intus: et accessus prohibet refugitque viriles.
Quid non et satyri saltatibus apta juventus,
Fecere, et pinu præcincti cornua panes,
Sylvanusque suis semper juvenilior annis;
Quique Deus fures, vel falce, vel inguine terret,
Ut potirentur ea? sed enim superabat amando
Hos quoque Vertumnus: neque erat felicior illis.
O quoties habitu duri messoris aristas
Corbe tulit, verique fuit messoris imago!
Sweating he walks, while loads of golden grain
O'ercharge the shoulders of the seeming swain.
Oft o'er his back a crooked scythe is laid,
And wreaths of hay his sunburnt temples shade:
Oft in his harden'd hand a goad he bears,
Like one who late unyok'd the sweating steers.
Sometimes his pruning-hook corrects the vines,
And the loose stragglers to their ranks confines;
Now gath'ring what the bounteous year allows,
He pulls ripe apples from the bending boughs.
A soldier now, he, with his sword, appears;
A fisher next, his trembling angle bears;
Each shape he varies, and each art he tries,
On her bright charms to feast his longing eyes.
A female form at last Vertumnus wears,
With all the marks of rev'rend age appears,
His temples thinly spread with silver hairs:
Propp'd on his staff, and stooping as he goes,
A painted mitre shades his furrow'd brows.
Tempora sæpe gerens fœno religata recenti,
Desectum poterat gramen versasse videri.
Sæpe manu stimulos rigida portabat; ut illum
Jurares fessos modo disjunxisse juvencos.
Falce data frondator erat, vitisque putator:
Induerat scalas, lecturum poma putares;
Miles erat gladio, piscator arundine sumpta.
Denique per multas aditum sibi sæpe figuras
Repperit, ut caperet spectatæ gaudia formæ.
Ille etiam picta redimitus tempora mitra,
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,
"Whose charms as far all other nymphs outshine,
"As other gardens are excell'd by thine!"
Then kiss'd the fair; (his kisses warmer grow
Than such as women on their sex bestow)
Then plac'd beside her on the flow'ry ground,
Beheld the trees with autumn's bounty crown'd.
An elm was near, to whose embraces led,
The curling vine her swelling clusters spread;
He view'd her twining branches with delight,
And prais'd the beauty of the pleasing sight.
"Yet this tall elm, but for this vine," he said,
"Had stood neglected, and a barren shade;
And this fair vine, but that her arms surround
Her marry'd elm, had crept along the ground.
Innitens baculo, positis ad tempora canis,
Adsimulavit anum: cultosque intravit in hortos;
Pomaque mirata est; "Tantoque potentior," inquit,
Paucaque laudatæ dedit oscula; qualia nunquam
Vera dedisset anus: glebaque incurva resedit,
Suspiciens pandos autumni pondere ramos.
Ulmus erat contra spatiosa tumentibus uvis;
Quam socia postquam pariter cum vite probavit;
"At si staret," ait, "coelebs, sine palmite truncus,
Nil præter frondes, quare peteretur, haberet.
Hæc quoque, quæ juncta vitis requiescit in ulmo, 65
Si non nupta foret, terræ acclinata jaceret.