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VERTUMNUS AND POMONA.

FROM

OVID'S METAMORPHOSES,
Book 4.

THE fair Pomona flourish'd in his reign:
Of all the virgins of the sylvan train,
None taught the trees a nobler race to bear,
Or more improv'd the vegetable care.
To her the shady grove, the flowery field,
The streams and fountains, no delights could yield';
Twas all her joy the ripening 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 luxutiaut year,
To decent form the lawless shoots to bring,
And teach th' obedient branches where to spring.
Now the cleft rind inserted graffs 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, wali'd on every side,
To lawless sylvans all access denied.
How oft the satyrs and the wanton fawns,
Who haunt the forest, or frequent the lawns,
The gad whose ensigns scares the birds of prey,
And old Silenus, youthful in decay,
Employ'd their wiles and unavailing care,
To pass the fences, and surprise the fair!

Like these, Vertumnus own'd 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 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 sun-burnt temples shade;
Oft in his harden'd hand a goad he bears,
Like one who late unyoVd the sweating steers.
Sometimes his pruning-hook corrects the vines,
And the loose stragglers to make their confines,
Now gathering 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 reverend 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.
The god, in this decrepit form array'd,
The gardens enter'd, and the fruit survey'd,
And ' Happy you!' lie thus address'd the maid,

* Whose charms as far ail other nymphs out shine, As other gardens are excel I'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 antumn'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 beanty of the pleasing sight.
• Yet this tall elm, but for his 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.

Ah, beauteous maid! let this example move

Tour mind, averse from all the joys of love:

Deign to be lov'd, and every heart subdue!

What nymph could e'er attract such crowds as you f

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 yon, though they court in vain,

A thousand sylvans, demigods, and gods,

That haunt our mountains, and our Alban woods.

But if yon'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 ere can by yourself be guesjM),

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 Verturanus never roves;

Like yon, 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. 3

Besides, he's lovely far above the rest,

With youth immortal, and with beauty blest.

Add, that he varies every shape with ease,

And tries all forms that may Pomona please.

But what should most excite a mutual flame,

Tour rural cares and pleasures are the same.

To him your orchard's early fruit are due

(A pleasing offering 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;

Ton, only yon, can move the god's desire:

Oh, crown so constant and so pure a fire I

Let soft compassion touch your gentle mind;

Think, 'tis Vertumnus begs you to be kind:

So may no frost, when early bnds 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 has urg'd in vain, He straight assum'd his native form again; Such, and so bright an aspect now he bears, As when through clonds th' emerging sun appears, And, thence exerting his refulgent ray, Diipels the darkness, and reveals the day. Fore* he prepar'd, but check'd the rash design; For w^en, appearing in a form divine, The nymph surveys him, and beholds the grace Of chaining features, and a youthful face; In her soft breast consenting passions move, And the waxm maid confess'd a mutual love.

IMITATIONS
OF ENGLISH POETS.

Done by the Author in his Youth,

CHAUCER.

TXTOMEV ben full of ragerie,
*' Yet swinken oat sans secresie.
Thilke moral shall ye understand,
From schoole-boy's tale of fay re Irelond:
Which to the fennes hath him betake,
To filch the gray ducke fro the lake.
Right then, there passen by the way
His aunt, and eke her daughters tway.
Ducke in his trowsers hath he hent,
Not to be spied of ladies gent.
'But ho! our nephew/ cryeth one,

* Ho !* qnoth another,' cozen John

And stoppen, and lough, and callen out,—
This silly clerke full low doth lout:
They asken that, and talken this,

* Lo t here is coz, and here is miss.'
But, as he glozeth with speeches soote,
The ducke sore tickleth his erse roote;
Fore-piece and buttons all to-brest,
Forth thrust a white neck, and red crest.

* Te-he,' cry'd ladies; clerke nought spake: Miss star'd; and gray dnke cryeth * Quaake.1 'O moder, moder,' qnoth the daughter.

* Be thilke same thing maids longen a'ter? Bette is to pine on coals and chalke, Then trust oa mon, whose yarde can talke.'

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