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VERTUMNUS AND POMONA.
THE fair Pomona flourish'd in his reign:
These cares alone her virgin breast employ.
Like these, Vertumnus own'd his faithful flame,
A female form at last Vertumnus wears,
* 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
* Had stood neglected, and a barren shade;
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.
Done by the Author in his Youth,
TXTOMEV ben full of ragerie,
* Ho !* qnoth another,' cozen John
And stoppen, and lough, and callen out,—
* Lo t here is coz, and here is miss.'
* 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.'