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The child Amphiffus, to her bofom prest,
Perceiv'd a colder and a harder breast,
And found the fprings, that ne'er 'till then deny'd
Their milky moisture, on a fudden dry'd.
I faw, unhappy! what I now relate,
And ftood the helpless witness of thy fate,
Embrac'd thy boughs, thy rifing bark delay'd,
There wish'd to grow, and mingle fhade with fhade.
Behold Andraemon and th' unhappy fire
Appear, and for their Dryope enquire:
A springing tree for Dryope they find,
And print warm kiffes on the panting rind.
Proftrate, with tears their kindred plant bedew,
And clofe embrace as to the roots they grew.
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,
From ev'ry leaf diftills a trickling tear,
And strait a voice, while yet a voice remains,
Thus through the trembling boughs in fighs complains. If to the wretched any faith be given,
I fwear by all th' unpitying pow'rs of heav'n,
figure is mutual innocence put for mutual harmony? Nothing is more common in verfe than to use the firft plural for the fingular: "Patior fine crimine, & viximus innocuae," is but one and the fame perfon; a teftimony of her own innocence, but not of the mutual concord between her relations.
Viximus innocuae fi mentior, arida perdam,
Quas habeo, frondes; et caesa securibus urar.
Hunc tamen infantem maternis demite ramis,
Et date nutrici; noftraque fub arbore faepe
Lac facitote bibat; noftraque fub arbore ludat.
Cumque loqui poterit, matrem facitote falutet,
Et triftis dicat, Latet hoc fub ftipite mater.
Stagna tamen timeat; nec carpat ab arbore flores;
Et frutices omnes corpus putat effe Dearum.
Care, vale, conjux, et tu germana, paterque!
Quîs fiqua eft pietas, ab acutae vulnere falcis;
A pecoris morfu frondes defendite noftras.
Et quoniam mihi fas ad vos incumbere non eft,
Erigite huc artus, et ad ofcula nostra venite,
Dum tangi poffunt, parvumque attollite natum.
Plura loqui nequeo. nam jam per candida mollis
No wilful crime this heavy vengeance bred;
In mutual innocence our lives we led:
If this be falfe, let these new greens decay,
Let founding axes lop my limbs away,
And crackling flames on all honours prey.
But from my branching arms this infant bear,
Let fome kind nurse supply a mother's care:
And to his mother let him oft be led,
Sport in her fhades, and in her shades be fed
Teach him, when first his infant voice fhall frame
Imperfect words, and lifp his mother's name,
To hail this tree, and fay with weeping eyes,
Within this plant my hapless parent lies;
And when in youth he feeks the fhady woods,
Oh let him fly the crystal lakes and floods,
Nor touch the fatal flow'rs; but, warn'd by me,
Believe a goddess fhrin'd in ev'ry tree.
My fire, my fifter, and my spouse, farewell!
If in your breasts or love or pity dwell,
Protect your plant, nor let branches feel
The browzing cattle or the piercing steel.
Farewell! and fince I cannot bend to join
My lips to yours, advance at least to mine.
My fon, thy mother's parting kiss receive,
While yet thy mother has a kifs to give.
I can no more; the creeping rind invades
My clofing lips, and hides my head in fhades;
Colla liber ferpit; fummoque cacumine condor.
Ex oculis removete manus. fine munere veftro
Contegat inductus morientia lumina cortex.
Defierant fimul ora loqui, fimul effe: diuque
Corpore mutato rami caluere recentes.
Remove your hands, the bark fhall foon fuffice
Without their aid to feal thefe dying eyes.
She ceas'd at once to speak, and ceas'd to be; 100 And all the nymph was loft within the tree; Yet latent life through her new branches reign'd, And long the plant a human heat retain'd,
THOUGH I regret the hours our poet spent in translating Statius and Ovid; yet it has given us an opportunity of admiring his good fenfe and judgment, in not fuffering his tafte and style, in his fucceeding works, to be infected with the faults of these two writers.