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The hook she bore,'instead of Cynthia's spear,
To lop the growth of the luxuriant year,
To decent form the lawlefs fhoots 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 fiding ftreams the thirsty plants renew, And feed their fibres with reviving dwe.
These cares alone her virgin breaft employ,
Averse from Venus and the nuptial joy;
Her private orchards, wall’d on ev'ry side,
To lawless fylvans all access deny’d.
How oft' the fatyrs and the wanton fawns,
Who haunt the forests, 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 surprize the fair?
Like these Vertumnus, own'd his faithful flame,
Like these, rejected by the scornful dame.
To gain her fight, a thousand forms he wears,
And first a réaper from the field appears,
Sweating he walks, while loads of golden grain
O'ercharge the shoulders of the seeming fwain.
Oft' o'er his back a crooked fcythe is laid,
And wreaths of hay his sun-burn'd temples (hade;
Oft in his harden'd hand a goad he bears,
Like one who late unyok'd the sweating steers.
Sometimes his pruning-hook corrects the vines,
And the loose stragglers to their ranks confines.
Now gath'ring what the bounteous year allows,
He pulls ripe apples from the bending boughs.
A soldier now, he with his sword appears;
A filher next, his treinbling angle bears;
Each shape he varies, and each art he tries,
On her bright charms to feast his longing eyes.
A female forin at last Vertumnus wears,
With all the marks of rev'rend 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 fruits survey'd,
And “ happy you! (he thus addrest the maid)
Whose charms as far all other nymphs out-hine,
“ As others gardens are excell'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 Autumn's bounty crown'd.
An elm was near, to whose embraces led,
The curling vine her swelling clusters fpread;
He view'd their twiming branches with delight;
And prais’d the beauty of the pleasing fight.
Yet this tall elm, but for his vine (he faidy
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 mind, let this example move
Your mind, averse from all the joys of love.
Deign to be lov'd, and ev'ry heart subdue !
What nymph cou'd e'er attract such crowds as you?
Not she whose beauty urg'd the Centaurs arms,
Ulysses' Queen, nor Helen's fatal charms.
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 inountains and our Allan woods,
But if you'll prosper, mark what I advise,
Whom age, and long experience render wise,
And one whose tender care is far above
All that there lovers ever felt of love,
(Far more than e'er can by your self be guest)
Fix on Vertumnús, and reject the rest.
For his firm faith I dare engage my own;
Scarce to himself, himself is better known.
To distant lands Vertumnus never roves;
Like you, contented with his native groves;
Nor at first sight, like most, admires the fair;
For you he lives, and you alone shall share
His laft affection, as his early care.
Besides, he's lovely far above the rest,
With youth immortal, and with beauty blest.
Add, that he varies ev'ry shape 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 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 taftful herbs that in these gardens rise,
Which the kind soil with milky fap supplies;
You, only you, can move the God's desire:
Oh crown fo constant and so pure a fire!
Let soft compassion touch your gentle mind;
Think, 'tis Vertumnus begs you to be kind!
So may no frost, when early buds appear,
Destroy the promise of the youthful year;
Nor winds, when firft your florid orchard blows,
Shake the light blossoms from their blasted boughs!
This when the various God had urg'd in vain,
Heftrait aflum'd his native form again;
Such, and so bright an aspect now he bears,
As when thro! clouds th' emerging sun appears,
And thence exerting his refulgent ray,
Dispells the darkness, and reveals the day.
Force he prepar’d, but check'd the rash design;
For when, appearing in a form divine,
The nymph surveys him, and beholds the grace
Of charming features, and a youthful face,
In her soft breast consenting passions move,
And the warm maid confess'd a mutual love.