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Populus alba.

The white poplar

EMBLEMA CCXI.

Herculeos crines bicolor quòd 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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Buxus.

The box-tree

Emblema ccvii.

Perpetuo viridis, crispóque cacumine buxus,
Unde est disparibus fistula facta modis,[1]
Deliciis apta est teneris & amantibus arbor:
Pallor inest illi, pallet & omnis amans.[2]

The box-tree is evergreen, with crinkly shoots. From it was made the pipe with its variously pitched notes. It is a tree appropriate to tender delights and to lovers. Box-wood is pale and so is every lover.

Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [Cc8r f284r]

BUxus amasiorum naturam conditionémque re-
fert. habet enim perpetuum virorem, lignúmque
pallidum, quo tamen tibiae & fistulae componuntur:
Sic illi in amore perpetuò virent, sed tamen ex af-
fectibus plerisque biliosis pallorem contrahunt, ni-
hilominus sermone blando ac suavi oratione sem-
per aliquid concinunt.

Le Buys.

BUys au dessus crespelu, tousjours verd,
Il s’entretient, à faire flustes sert:
Des Amoureux & autre mignardise
Il peust servir pour marque ou pour devise:
Car il se tient tousjours en sa palleur,
Et l’amoureux est de ceste couleur.

LE Buys sert à exprimer le naturel & con-
dition des amoureux: car il a une perpe-
tuelle verdeur, un bois pallissant, duquel ce
neantmoins on fait des flustes & sifflets.
Ainsi eux sont en amour perpetuellement
vers, toutesfois à cause de quelques qualitez
bilieuses ils sont palles, non obstant s’entre-
tiennent de propos gracieux, & chantent
tousjours quelque plaisante chanson.

Notes:

1.  For pipes of boxwood, see e.g. Ovid, Metamorphoses, 4.30.

2.  pallet et omnis amans, ‘pale...is every lover’. The lover should affect pallor and emaciation, as these will soften the lady’s heart; see Ovid, Ars Amatoria, 1.729ff.


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  • lovers; courting, flirting [33C2] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • panpipes [48C7353] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Pleasure, Enjoyment, Joy; 'Allegrezza', 'Allegrezza da le medaglie', 'Allegrezza, letitia e giubilo', 'Diletto', 'Piacere', 'Piacere honesto' (Ripa) (+ emblematical representation of concept) [56B1(+4)] Search | Browse Iconclass

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