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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.

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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, " cœlebs, 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.


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 they gain,

A thousand court you, tho' they court in vain ;


A thousand sylvans, demi-gods, 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 guess'd) Fix on Vertumnus, and reject the rest:

Tu tamen exemplo non tangeris arboris hujus;
Concubitusque fugis; nec te conjungere curas.
Atque utinam velles! Helene non pluribus esset
Sollicitata procis; nec quæ Lopitheia movit
Prolia, 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




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.
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.




Me quoque pignus habe. Neque enim sibi notior ille est,

Quam mihi. Nec toto passim vagus errat in orbe. 85
Hæc loca sola colit. Nec uti pars magno procorum,
Quam modo vidit, amat. Tu primus et ultimus illi
Ardor eris; solique suos tibi devovet annos.
Adde, quod est juvenis: quod naturale decoris
Munus habet; formasque apte fingetur in omnes:



Et, quod erit jussus (jubeas licet omnia) fiet.
Quid, quod amatis item, quod, quæ tibi poma colun-
Primus habet; lætaque tenet tua munera dextra? 98
Sed neque jam fœtus desiderat arbore demptos,

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 thro' clouds th' emerging sun appears,


And thence exerting his refulgent ray,

Dispels the darkness, and reveals the day.

Nec quas hortus alit, cum succis mitibus herbas; 100 Nec quicquam, 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.

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