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Andræmon lov'd; and bless'd in all those charms
That pleas'd a god, succeeded to her arms.
A lake there was with shelving banks around, 15
Whose verdant summit fragrant myrtles crown'd;
These shades, unknowing of the Fates, she sought,
And to the Naiads flow*ry garlands brought;
Her smiling babe (a pleasing charge) she prest
Within her arms, and nourish'd at her breast. 20
Not distant far a wat'ry lotos grows;
The spring was new, and all the verdant boughs,
Adorn’d with blossoms, promised fruits that vie
In glowing colours with the Tyrian dye:
Of these she cropp'd to please her infant son, 25
And I myself the same rash act had done;
But, lo! I saw (as near her side I stood)
The violated blossoms drop with blood;
Excipit Andræmon; et habetur conjuge felix.
Est lacus acclivi devexo margine formam
Litoris efficiens: summum myrteta coronant.
Venerat huc Dryope, fatorum nescia; quoque
Indignere magis, nymphis latura coronas.
Inque sinu puerum, qui nondum impleverat annum,
Dulce ferebat onus; tepidique ope lactis alebat.
Haud procul a stagno, Tyrios imitata colores,
In spem baccharum florebat aquatica lotos.
Carpserat hinc Dryope, quos oblectamina nato 25
Porrigeret flores: et idem factura videbar
(Namque aderam.) Vidi guttas e flore cruentas
Upon the tree I cast a frightful look ;
The trembling tree with sudden horror shook.
Lotis the nymph (if rural tales be true)
As from Priapus' lawless lust she flew,
Forsook her form; and, fixing here, became
A fow'ry plant, which still preserves her name.
This change unknown, astonish'd at the sight 35 My trembling sister strove to urge her flight; And first the pardon of the nymphs implor'd, And the offended sylvan pow’rs ador'd: But when she backward would have fled, she found Her stiff'ning feet were rooted in the ground: In vain to free her fasten'd feet she strove, And as she struggles only moves above; She feels th' encroaching bark around her grow By quick degrees, and cover all below. Surpriz'd at this, her trembling hand she heaves 45 To rend her hair; her hand is fill'd with leaves :
Decidere, et tremulo ramos horrore moveri.
Scilicet, ut referunt tardi nunc denique agrestes,
Lotis in hanc nymphe, fugiens obscoena Priapi,
Contulerat versos servato nomine vultus.
Nescierat soror hoc; quæ cum perterrita retro 33
Ire, et adoratis vellet discedere nymphis,
Hæserunt radice pedes. Convellere pugnat: 40
Nec quidquam, nisi summa, movet. Succrescit ab imo,
Totaque paulatim lentus premit inguina cortex.
Ut vidit, conata manu laniare capillos,
Where late was hair, the shooting leaves are seen
To rise and shade her with a sudden green.
The child Amphissus, to her bosom prest,
Perceiv'd a colder and a harder breast,
And found the springs, that ne'er till then deny'd
Their milky moisture, on a sudden dry’d.
I saw, unhappy! what I now relate,
And stood the helpless witness of thy fate,
Embrac'd thy boughs, thy rising bark delay'd, 55.
There wish'd to grow, and mingle shade with shade!
Behold Andræmon and th' unhappy sire
Appear, and for their Dryope inquire;
A springing tree for Dryope they find,
And print warm kisses on the panting rind. 60
Prostrate, with tears their kindred plant bedew,
And close embrace as to the roots ihey grew.
Fronde manum implevit: frondes caput omne tenebant
At puer Amphissos (namque hoc avus Eurytus illi
Addiderat nomen) materna rigescere sentit
Ubera: nec sequitur ducentem lacteus humor. 50
Spectatrix aderam fati crudelis, opemque
Non poteram tibi ferre, soror: quantumque valebam,
Crescentem truncum ramosque amplexa, morabar;
Et (fateor) volui sub eodem cortice condi. 56
Ecce vir Andræmon, genitorque miserrimus, adsunt;
Et quærunt Dryopen; Dryopen quærentibus illis
Ostendi Loton. tepido dant oscula ligno:
60 Affusique suæ radicibus arboris hærent.
The face was all that now remain'd of thee,
No more a woman, nor yet quite a tree;
Thy branches hung with humid pearls appear, 65
From ev'ry leaf distils a trickling tear;
And straight a voice, while yet a voice remains,
Thus thro' the trembling boughs in sighs complains.
" If to the wretched any faith be giv'n,
I swear by all th’ unpitying pow'rs of heav'n, 70
No wilful crime this heavy vengeance bred:
In mutual innocence our lives we led.
If this be false, let these new greens decay,
Let sounding axes lop my limbs away,
And crackling flames on all my honours prey. 75
But from my branching arms this infant bear,
Let some kind nurse supply a mother's care;
And to his mother let him oft be led,
Sport in her shades, and in her shades be fed.
Nil nisi jam faciem, quod non foret arbor, habebas,
Chara soror ! lacrymæ verso de corpore factis
Irrorant foliis: ac dum licet, oraque præstant 65
Vocis iter, tales effundit in aera questus:
“Si qua fides miseris, hoc me per numina juror
Non meruisse nefas. patior sine crimine pænam. 70
Viximus innocuæ ; si mentior, arida perdam,
Quas habeo, frondes, et cæsa securibus urar. 75
Hunc tamen infantem maternis demite ramis,
Et date nutrici; nostraque sub arbore sæpe
Lac facitote bibat, nostraque sub arbore ludat.
Teach him, when first his infant voice shall frame
Imperfect words, and lisp his mother's name,
To hail this tree; and say, with weeping eyes,
Within this plant my hapless parent lies ;
And when in youth he seeks the shady woods,
Oh! let him fly the crystal lakes and floods,
Nor touch the fatal flow'rs; but, warn'd by me,
Believe a goddess shrin'd in ev'ry tree.
My sire, my sister, and my spouse, farewel!
If in your breasts, or love, or pity, dwell,
Protect your plant, nor let my branches feel
The browsing cattle, or the piercing steel.
Farewel! and since I cannot bend to join
My lips to yours, advance, at least, to mine.
My son, thy mother's parting kiss receive,
While yet thy mother has a kiss to give.
95 I can no more; the creeping rind invades My closing lips, and hides my head in shades:
Cumque loqui poterit, matrem facitote salutet, 80
Et tristis dicat: “ Latet hoc sub stipite mater.”
Stagna tamen timeat; nec carpat ab arbore flores:
Et frutices omnes corpus putet esse Dearum.
Chare, vale, conjux, et tu germana, paterque!
Queis si qua est pietas, ab acutæ vulnere falcis, 90
A pecoris morsu, frondes defendite nostras.
Et quoniam mihi fas ad vos incumbere non est,
Erigite huc artus, et ad oscula nostra venite, 95
Dum tangi possunt, parvumque attollite natum.