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Where late was hair the shooting leaves are seen
Behold Andræmon and the unhappy sire Appear, and for their Dryope inquire : A springing tree for Dryope they find, And print warm kisses on the panting rind. 60 Prostrate, with tears their kindred plant bedew, And close embrace as to the roots they grew. The face was all that now remaind of thee, No more a woman, nor yet quite a tree; Thy branches hung with humid pearls appear,
65 From ev'ry leaf distils a trickling tear; And straight a voice, while yet a voice remains, Thus thro’ the trembling boughs in sighs complains.
If to the wretch'd any faith be giv’n, I swear by all th’unpitying pow’rs of heav'n, 70 No wilful crime the heavy vengeance bred; In mutual innocence our lives we led;
If this be false, let these new greens decay,
2 Let sounding axes lop my
away, And crackling flames on all iny honours prey. 75. But from my branching arms this infant bear, Let some kind nurse supply a mother's care ; And to his mother let him oft be led, Sport in her shades, and in her shades be fed : Teach him, when first his infant voice shall frame Imperfect words, and lisp his mother's name, 81
To hail this tree; and say, with weeping eyes, Within this plant my hapless parent lies : And when in youth he seeks the shady woods, Oh! let him fty the crystal lakes and floods, 85 Nor touch the fatal flow'rs; but, warn’d by me, Believe a goddess shrin’d in ev'ry tree. My sire, my sister, and my spouse farewell! If in your breasts or love or pity dwell Protect your plant, nor let my branches feel
90 The browsing cattle or the piercing steel. Farewell ! and since I cannot bend to join My lips to yours, advance at least to mine. My son, thy mother's parting kiss receive, While yet thy mother has a kiss to give.
95 I can no more; the creeping rind invades My closing lips, and hides my hand in shades : Remove your hands, the bark shall soon suffice Without their aid to seal these dying eyes.”
She ceas'd at once to speak and ceas'd to be, And all the nymph was lost within the tree; Yet latent life thro’ her new branches reign’d, And long the plant a human heart retain'd.
THE UNIVERSAL PRAYER.
DEO. OPT. MAX.
FATHER of All! in ev'ry age,
Yet gave me in this dark estate,
What conscience dictates to be done,
For God is paid when Man receives :
Let not this weak unknowing hand