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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [C5v f21v]

Hedera.

Ivy

Haudquaquam arescens hederae est arbuscula, Cisso[1]
Quae puero Bacchum dona dedisse ferunt:
Errabunda, procax, auratis fulva corymbis,
Exterius viridis, caetera pallor habet.
Hinc aptis vates cingunt sua tempora sertis:[2]
Pallescunt studiis, laus diuturna viret.

There is a bushy plant which never withers, the ivy which Bacchus, they say, gave as a gift to the boy Cissos. It goes where it will, uncontrollable; tawny where the golden berry-clusters hang; green on the outside but pale everywhere else. Poets use it to wreathe their brows with garlands that fit them well - poets are pale with study, but their praise remains green for ever.

Notes:

1.  Κισσός is the Greek word for ‘ivy’. For the story of Cissos, beloved of Bacchus, and his transformation into the ivy, see Nonnus, Dionysiaca, 12.188ff.

2.  vates cingunt sua tempora, ‘Poets use it to wreathe their brows’. See Pliny, Natural History, 16.62.147: poets use the species with yellow berries for garlands.


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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [N3r p197]

Le sapin.

XXXIV.

On bastit du sapin, qui croist és monts hautains,
Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [N3v p198] Et en terre & en mer les maisons des humains.[1]

Commentaires.

Cest embleme remarque la grande utilité qu’on
tire du sapin: Car plus commodement que de toute
autre sorte de bois, on en bastit les navires & les mai-
sons: à quoy il est de tout propre, mais sur tout aux
travenaisons. On le peut aussi appliquer à ceux qui
pour l’esperance de grandes recompenses, ne font pas
difficulté de changer de condition, & d’encourir des
grands dangers: ainsi que le sapin laisse les hautes
montaignes, où il croist, pour descendre aux vallees
voire sur l’eau.

Notes:

1.  This is because it grows strong by withstanding the gales and harsh weather. Contrast Anthologia Graeca, 9.30ff, 105, and the much-translated 376 for an opposing view of the fir tree: “how can the fir, storm-tossed while growing on land, resist the gales at sea?” 9.31 was translated by Alciato (Selecta epigrammata, p. 98).


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