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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [C7r f23r]

Populus alba.

The white poplar

Herculeos crines bicolor qụd populus ornet,[1]
Temporis alternat noxque diesque vices.[2]

The two-coloured poplar wreathes the locks of Hercules - and so its dark and light show time’s alternating changes.

Notes:

1.  The white poplar was dedicated to Hercules. According to Pausanias, Periegesis, 5.14.2, Hercules introduced it to Greece. According to another story, Hercules on his way back from the Underworld garlanded his head with stems from a white poplar growing beside the Acheron, a memorial of the nymph Leuke (White) carried off by Pluto.

2.  noxque diesque, ‘its dark and light’ (lit. night and day), a reference to the dark green surface and white underside of the white poplar leaf. According to Pliny, Natural History, 16.36.87, the leaves of the white poplar turn over at the summer solstice. Hercules was equated with the sun: Macrobius, Saturnalia, 1.20.6 and 10.


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Section: LES ARBRES. View all emblems in this section.

Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [Q6v p252]

L’hierre.

L’hierre est ung arbre en verdeur triumphant,
Duquel Bacchus feit don à Cisse enfant,[1]
Errant gravit: ha grains d’or en couleur,
Verd par dedans, tout le reste ha palleur.
Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [Q7r p253]Poëtes doncque, en hont les chefz couvers,[2]
Palles d’estude: en honneur tousjours verdz.

Les Poëtes se coronnent de Lau
rier & de L’hierre, qui tousjours
verdoie par dedans, par dehors
est palle, & porte bayes de cou-
leur d’or, pour enseigne que ilz
sont palles d’estude par dehors,
& dedans leurs escriptz tousjours
reverdissans par aeternel honneur,
precieux & illustres comme L’or.

Notes:

1.  For the story of Cissos, beloved of Bacchus, and his transformation into the ivy, see Nonnus, Dionysiaca, 12.188ff.

2.  See Pliny, Natural History, 16.62.147: poets use the species with yellow berries for garlands.


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