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A female form at laft Vertumnus wears, With all the marks of rev'rend age appears, His temples thinly fpread with filver hairs; Prop'd on his staff, and ftooping as he goes, A painted mitre fhades his furrow'd brows. The god in this decrepit form array'd, The gardens enter'd, and the fruit furvey'd ; And "Happy you! (he thus address'd the maid) "Whofe charms as far all other nymphs out-fhine, "As other gardens are excell'd by thine!
Then kifs'd the fair; (his kiffes warmer grow
Than fuch as women on their fex beftow.)
Then plac'd befide her on the flow'ry ground,
Beheld the trees with autumn's bounty crown'd.
An Elm was near, to whofe 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 flood neglected, and a barren shade;
And this fair vine, but that her arms furround 65
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 fubdue!
What nymph could e'er attract such crouds as you
Not she whose beauty urg'd the Centaurs arms, 71
Ulyffes' Queen, nor Helen's fatal charms.
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
Plus quam credis, amo) vulgares rejice taedas:
Vertumnumque tori focium tibi felige: pro quo
Me quoque pignus habe. neque enim fibi notior ille
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; formafque apte fingetur in omnes :
Et, quod erit juffus (jubeas licet omnia) fiet.
Quid, quod amatis idem ? quod, quae tibi poma co-
Primus habet; laetaque tenet tua munera dextra ?
Ev'n now, when filent scorn is all they gain,
A thousand court you, tho' they court in vain,
A thousand fylvans, demigods, and gods,
That haunt our mountains and our Alban woods.
But if you'll profper, mark what I advise,
Whom age, and long experience render wife,
And one whofe tender care is far above
All that thefe 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 diftant lands Vertumnus never roves;
Like you, contented with his native groves;
Nor at first fight, like moft, admires the fair;
you he lives; and you alone shall share
His last affection, as his early care.
Befides, he's lovely far above the reft,
With youth immortal, and with beauty bleft.
Add, that he varies ev'ry fhape 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 fame:
To him your orchards' early fruits are due,
(A pleafing off'ring when 'tis made by you.)
He values thefe; but yet (alas) complains,
That still the best and dearest gift remains.
Sed neque jam foetus defiderat arbore demtos,
Nec, quas hortus alit, cum fuccis mitibus herbas;
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
Evicit nubes, nullaque obftante reluxit.
Vimque parat: fed vi non eft opus: inque figura
Capta Dei Nympha eft, et mutua vulnera fentit.
Not the fair fruit that on yon' branches glows
With that ripe red th' autumnal fun bestows;
Nor tafteful 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 so 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 promife of the youthful year;
Nor winds, when first your florid orchard blows, 110
Shake the light blossoms 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 thro' clouds th' emerging fun appears, 115 And thence exerting his refulgent ray,
Difpels the darknefs, 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 grace 120
Of charming features, and a youthful face !
In her foft breaft confenting paffions move,
And the warm maid confefs'd a mutual love.