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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [C1v p34]

Amicitia etiam post mortem durans.[1]

Friendship lasting even beyond death

XII.

Arentem senio, nudam quoque frondibus ulmum,
Complexa est viridi vitis opaca coma.[2]
Agnoscitque vices naturae, & grata parenti
Officii reddit mutua iura suo.
Exemploque monet, tales nos quaerere amicos,
Quos neque disiungat foedere summa dies.

A vine shady with green foliage embraced an elm tree that was dried up with age and bare of leaves. The vine recognises the changes wrought by nature and, ever grateful, renders to the one that reared it the duty it owes in return. By the example it offers, the vine tells us to seek friends of such a sort that not even our final day will uncouple them from the bond of friendship.

Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [C2r p35]

Amytie durant apres mort.

XII.

Au temps que jeune estoit la vigne,
Elle fut soustenue de l’orme,
(Qui d’estre aymé se rend bien digne.)
A quoy la vigne fut conforme:
Car au temps qu’il devint disforme,
Voire mort, la vigne l’embrasse.
Cherchez donc amy de telle forme,
Dont l’amour pour mort ne sesface.

Notes:

1.  See Erasmus’ famous variations on this theme in De copia (CWE 24. pp. 354-64).

2.  In ancient Italy young vines were often supported by elm trees. See Vergil, Georgics 1.2.


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