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Hanc audire voles, (quae te plus omnibus illis,
Plus quam credis, amo) vulgares rejice taedas:
Vertumnumque tori focium tibi felige; pro quo
Me quoque pignus habe. neque enim fibi notior ille eft,
Quam mihi. nec toto paffim vagus errat in orbe.
Haec loca fola colit: nec, uti pars magna procorum,
Quam modo vidit, amat. tu primus et ultimus illi
Ardor eris; folique fuos tibi devovet annos.
Adde, quod eft juvenis: quod naturale decoris
Munus habet; formafque apte fingetur in omnes :
Et, quod erit juffus (jubeas licet omnia) fiet.
Quid, quod amatis idem? quod, quae tibi poma co-
Primus habet; laetaque tenet tua munera dextra?
Sed neque jam foetus defiderat arbore demtos,
Nec, quas hortus alit, cum fuccis mitibus herbas;
Nec quidquam, nifi te. miferere ardentis: et ipfum,
And one whofe tender care is far above
All that these lovers ever felt of love,
(Far more than e'er can by yourself be guest) 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 Vertumnus never roves;
Like you, contented with his native groves;
Nor at first fight, like moft, admires the fair;
For you he lives; and you alone fhall fhare
His last affection, as his early care.
Befides, 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 thefe; but yet (alas) complains,
That ftill the beft and deareft gift remains.
Not the fair fruit that on yon branches glows
With that ripe red th' autumnal fun bestows;
Nor tasteful herbs that in these gardens rise,
Which the kind foil with milky fap fupplies;
You, only you, can move the God's defire:
Oh crown fo conftant and so pure a fire!
Let foft compaffion touch your gentle mind;
Think, 'tis Vertumnus begs you to be kind!
Qui petit, ore meo praefentem crede precari—
Sic tibi nec vernum nascentia frigus adurat
Poma; nec excutiant rapidi florentia venti.
Haec ubi nequicquam formas Deus aptus in omnes,
Edidit; in juvenem rediit : et anilia demit
Inftrumenta fibi: talifque adparuit illi,
Qualis ubi oppofitas nitidiffima folis imago
Evicit nubes, nullaque obftante reluxit.
Vimque parat: fed vi non eft opus; inque figura
Capta Dei Nympha eft, et mutua vulnera fentit.
So may no froft, when early buds appear,
Destroy the promise of the youthful year;
Nor winds, when first your florid orchard blows,
Shake the light bloffoms from their blasted boughs!
This when the various God had urg'd in vain,
He ftraight affum'd his native form again;
Such, and fo bright an aspect now he bears,
As when through clouds th' emerging fun appears,
And thence exerting his refulgent ray,
Difpels 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 furveys him, and beholds the grace
Of charming features, and a youthful face!
In her foft breast confenting paffions move,
And the warm maid confefs'd a mutual love.
IT is not a little mortifying to read the following ftrange words in one of Dryden's prefaces; but we know how often he changed his critical opinions: "Though Virgil describes his Dido well and naturally, yet he muft yield in that to the Myrrha, the Biblis, the Althea of Ovid; for, as great an admirer of him as I am, I must acknowledge that, if I fee not more of their fouls than I fee of Dido's, at least I have a greater concernment for them; and that convinces me that Ovid has touched those tender strokes more delicately than Virgil could!" Settle never advanced fo abfurd an opinion!