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HE fair Pomona flourish'd in his reign;
Of all the Virgins of the fylvan train, None taught the trees a nobler race to bear, Or more improv'd the vegetable care.
To her the fhady grove, the flow'ry field,
The streams and fountains,no delights could yield;
'Twas all her joy the rip'ning fruits to tend,
And fee the boughs with happy burthens bend.
The hook fhe bore instead of Cynthia's fpear,
To lop the growth of the luxuriant year,
To decent form the lawless shoots to bring,
And teach th' obedient branches where to fpring.
Now the cleft rind inferted graffs receives,
And yields an offspring more than nature gives;
Nec patitur fentire fitim; bibulaeque recurvas 15 Radicis fibras labentibus irrigat undis.
Hic amor, hoc ftudium: Veneris quoque nulla cupido.
Vim tamen agreftûm metuens, pomaria claudit
Intus, et acceffus prohibet refugitque viriles. 20
Quid non et Satyri, faltatibus apta juventus,
Fecere, et pinu praecincti cornua Panes,
Sylvanufque fuis femper juvenilior annis,
Quique Deus fures, vel falce, vel inguine terret,
Ut potirentur ea? fed enim fuperabat amando 25
Vertumnus neque erat felicior illis.
O quoties habitu duri mefforis ariftas
Corbe tulit, verique fuit mefforis imago!
Tempora faepe gerens foeno religata recenti,
Defectum poterat gramen verfaffe videri.
Şaepe manu ftimulos rigida portabat; ut illum 35
Jurares feffos modo disjunxiffe juvencos.
Now fliding streams the thirsty plants renew, 15
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 fide,
To lawless fylvans all access deny'd.
How oft the Satyrs and the wanton Fawns, Who haunt the forefts, 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 furprize the fair?
Like these, Vertumnus own'd his faithful flame,
Like thefe, rejected by the fcornful dame.
To gain her fight a thousand forms he wears:
And first a reaper from the field appears,
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 fun-burnt temple shade:
Oft in his harden'd hand a goad he bears, 35
Like one who late unyok'd the sweating steers.
Sometimes his pruning-hook corrects the vines,
And the loose ftraglers to their ranks confines.
Falce data frondator erat, vitifque putator:
Induerat fcalas, lecturum poma putares:
Miles erat gladio, pifcator arundine fumta.
Denique per multas aditum fibi faepe figuras
Repperit, ut caperet fpectatae gaudia formae.
Ille etiam picta redimitus tempora mitra,
Innitens baculo, pofitis ad tempora canis,
Adfimulavit anum: cultofque intravit in hortos;
Pomaque mirata eft: Tantoque potentior, inquit.
Paucaque laudatae dedit ofcula; qualia nunquam
Vera dediffet anus: glebaque incurva refedit,
Sufpiciens pandos autumni pondere ramos.
Ulmus erat contra, fpatiofa tumentibus uvis: 60
Quam focia poftquam pariter cum vite probavit ;
At fi ftaret, ait, coelebs, fine palmite truncus,
Nil praeter frondes, quare peteretur, haberet.
Now gath'ring what the bounteous year allows,
He pulls ripe apples from the bending boughs. 40
A foldier now, he with his fword 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, 45 With all the marks of rev'rend age appears, His temples thinly spread with filver hairs; Prop'd on his staff, and stooping as he goes, A painted mitre fhades his furrow'd brows. The god in this decrepit form array'd, 50 The gardens enter'd, and the fruit furvey'd ; And "Happy you! (he thus addrefs'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 55
Than fuch as women on their fex bestow.)
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 swelling clusters spread: 60
He view'd her twining branches with delight,
And prais'd the beauty of the pleasing fight.