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Ulmus erat contra, spatiosa tumentibus uvis :
Quam socia postquam pariter cum vite probavit ;
At si staret, ait, cœlebs, sine palmite truncus,
Nil præter frondes, quare peteretur, haberet.
Hæc quoque, quæ juncta vitis requiescit in ulmo,
Si non nupta foret, terræ adclinata jaceret.
Tu tamen exemplo non tangeris arboris hujus;
Concubitusque fugis ; nec te conjungere curas.
Atque utinam velles! Helene non pluribus esset
Sollicitata procis: nec quæ Lapitheïa movit
Prælia, nec conjux timidis audacis Ulyssei.
Nunc quoque, cum fugias averserisque petentes,
Mille proci cupiunt ; et semideique deique,
Et quæcunque tenent Albanos numina montes.
Sed tu, si sapies, si te bene jungere, anumque
Hanc audire voles, (quæ te plus omnibus illis,
Plus quam credis, amo) vulgares rejice tædas:
Vertumnumque tori socium tibi selige; pro quo.
Me quoque pignus habe. neque enim sibi notior ille
Quam mihi. nec toto passim vagus errat in orbe.
Hæc loca sola colit: nec, uti pars magna procorum,
Quam modo vidit, amat. tu primus et ultimus illi
Ardor eris; solique suos tibi devovet annos.
Adde, quod est juvenis: quod naturale decoris 90
Munus habet; formasque apte fingetur in omnes:
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 his 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.
Ah! beauteous maid, let this example move
Your mind, averse from all the joys of love.
Deign to be lov'd, and ev'ry heart subdue!
What nymph could e'er attract such crowds as you?
Not she whose beauty urg'd the Centaur's arms,
Ulysses' Queen, nor Helen's fatal charms.
Ev'n now, when silent Scorn is all thy gain,
A thousand court you, tho' they court in vain,
A thousand sylvans, 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 whose tender care is far above
All that these lovers ever felt of love,
(Far more than e'er can by yourself be guest)
Fix on Vertumnus, and reject the rest.
For his firm faith I dare engage my own;
Scarce to himself, himself is better known.
To distant lands Vertumnus never roves;
Like you, contented with his native groves;
Nor at first sight, like most, admires the fair;
For you he lives; and you alone shall share
His last affection, as his early care.
Besides, he's lovely far above the rest,
With youth immortal, and with beauty blest.
Et, quod erit jussus (jubeas licet omnia) fiet. Quid, quod amatis idem? quod, quæ tibi poma coluntur,
Primus habet; lætaque tenet tua munera dextra?
Sed neque jam foetus desiderat arbore demtos,
Nec, quas hortus alit, cum succis mitibus herbas;
Nec quidquam, nisi te. miserere ardentis: et ipsum,
Qui petit, ore meo præsentem crede precari-
Sic tibi nec vernum nascentia frigus adurat
Poma; nec excutiant rapidi florentia venti.
Hæc ubi nequicquam formas Deus aptus in omnes,
Edidit; in juvenem rediit: et anilia demit
Instrumenta sibi: talisque adparuit illi,
Qualis ubi oppositas nitidissima solis imago
Evicit nubes, nullaque obstante reluxit.
Vimque parat: sed vi non est opus; inque figura
Capta Dei Nympha est, et mutua vulnera sentit.
It is not a little mortifying to read the following strange words in one of Dryden's prefaces; but we know how often he changed his critical opinions: "Though Virgil describes his Dido well and naturally, yet he must yield in that to the Myrrha, the Biblis, the Althea of Ovid; for, as great an admirer of him as I am, I must acknowledge that, if I see not more of their souls, than I see of Dido's, at least I have a greater concernment for them; and that convinces me that Ovid has touched those tender strokes more delicately than Virgil could!" Settle never advanced so absurd an opinion!
Add, that he varies ev'ry shape with ease,
And tries all forms that may Pomona please,
But what should most excite a mutual flame,
Your rural cares and pleasures are the same:
To him your orchards early fruits are due
(A pleasing off'ring when 'tis made by you),
He values these; 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 sun bestows;
Nor tasteful herbs that in these gardens rise,
Which the kind soil with milky sap supplies;
You, only you, can move the God's desire :
Oh crown so constant and so pure a fire!
Let soft compassion touch your gentle mind;
Think, 'tis Vertumnus begs you to be kind!
So may no frost, when early buds appear,
Destroy the promise of the youthful year;
Nor winds, when first your florid orchard blows,
Shake the light blossoms from their blasted boughs!
This when the various God had urg'd in vain,
He straight assum'd his native form again;
Such, and so bright an aspect now he bears,
As when through clouds th' emerging sun appears,
And thence exerting his refulgent ray,
Dispels 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 surveys him, and beholds the grace
Of charming features, and a youthful face!
In her soft breast consenting passions move,
And the warm maid confess'd a mutual love.