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My son, thy mother's parting kiss receive,
While yet thy mother has a kiss to give.
I can no more; the creeping rind invades
My closing lips, and hides my head in shades;
Remove your hands, the bark shall soon suffice
Without their aid to seal these dying eyes.”
She ceased at once to speak, and ceased to be;
And all the nymph was lost within the tree;
Yet latent life through her new branches reigned,
And long the plant a human heat retained.
VERTUMNUS AND POMONA. FROM THE FOURTEENTH BOOK OF OVID'S METAMORPHOSES. THE fair Pomona' flourished in his reign; Of all the virgins of the sylvan train, None taught the trees a nobler race to bear, Or more improved 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 form the lawless shoots to bring, And teach th' obedient branches where to spring. Now the cleft rind inserted grafts receives, And yields an offspring more than nature gives; 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, walled on ev'ry side, To lawless sylvans all access denied. How oft the Satyrs ? and the wanton Fauns, Who haunt the forests, or frequent the lawns, The god whose ensign scares the birds of prev.
And old Silenus,' youthful in decay,
Employed their wiles, and unavailing care,
To pass the fences, and surprise the fair!
Like these, Vertumnus owned 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 fields appears.
Sweating he walks, while loads of golden grain
Oe’rcharge the shoulders of the seeming swain.
Oft o'er his back a crooked scythe is laid,
And wreaths of hay his sun-burnt temples shade;
Oft in his hardened hand a goad he bears,
Like one who late unyoked 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;
Propped on his staff, and stooping as he goes,
A painted mitre shades his furrowed brows.
The god in this decrepit form arrayed
The gardens entered, and the fruit surveyed;
And “Happy you! (he thus addressed the maid,)
Whose charms as far all other nymphs' outshine,
As other other gardens are excelled by thine!”
Then kissed the fair, (his kisses warmer grow
Than such as women on their sex bestow.)
Then, placed beside her on the flowery ground,
Beheld the trees with autumn's bounty crowned.
An elm was near, to whose embraces led,
The curling vine her swelling clusters spread:
He viewed her twining branches with delight,
And praised the beauty of the pleasing sight.
“Yet this tall elm, but for his vine” (he said). “Had stood neglected, and a barren shade;
I Silenus was a demi-god, said to be the son of Pan. He was the nurse and attendant of Bacchus, The Satyrs and Fauns are sometimes called Sileni.
? A deity who ruled over the spring and vegetation,
Ant this fair vine but that her arms surround
Her married 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 loved, and every heart subdue!
What nymph could e'er attract such crowds as you ?
Not she whose beauty urged the centaur's arms,
Ulysses queen, nor Helen's fatal charms.
E'en now, when silent scorn is all they gain,
A thousand court you, though 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 guessed,)
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;
Not 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.
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 orchard's 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 urged in vain,
He straight assumed 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 prepared, but checked 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 confessed a mutual lovo.
IMITATIONS OF ENGLISH
DONE BY THE AUTHOR IN HIS YOUTH.
I.-WALLER." OF A LADY SINGING TO HER LUTE. Fair charmer, cease, nor make your voice's prize, A heart resigned, the conquest of your eyes: Well might, alas! that threatened vessel fail, Which winds and lightning both at once assail. We were too blest with these encharting lays, Which must be heav'nly when an angel plays: But killing charms your lover's death contrive, Lest heav'nly music should be heard alive. Orpheus could charm the trees, but thus a tree, Taught by your hand, can charm no less than he: A poet made the silent wood pursue, This vocal wood has drawn the poet too.
ON A FAN OF THE AUTHOR'S DESIGN.? IN WHICH WAS PAINTED THE STORY OF CEPHALUS3 AND PROCRIS,
WITH THE MOTTO, AURA VENI. “Come, gentle air!” th' Æolian shepherd said, While Procris panted in the secret shade: “Come, gentle air,” the fairer Delia cries, While at her feet her swain expiring lies.