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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  [R4v p264]

Le Sapin.

Le Sapin croist es mons, & sert en leau [=l’eau] .
En lieu contraire, est souvent profict beau.[1]

Le Sapin croissant es haultes montaignes, descend
es basses rivieres: pour faire plus grand profict.
Car pour estre resineux, & legier, il est propre à
faire basteaux. Ainsi a plusieurs est expedient
changer de lieu, & se mettre de plus hault, en plus
bas pour meilleur usage.

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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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [N5r p201]

Le peuplier blanc.

XLI.

Ce que du peuplier blanc le chef d’Hercule est ceinct,[1]
Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [N5v p202] Celà du jour & nuict l’entresuite nous peind.[2]

Commentaires.

Le peuplier blanc est consacré à Hercule, Il a la
feuille tremblante, blanchissant’ par le haut, & ver-
de par le bas. Celà nous enseigne le continuel mouve-
ment du temps, distribué en clair jour, & en nuict
obscure. Mais le peuplier blanc a encor cecy de confor-
me avec le temps, qu’apres le solstice ses feuilles se tour-
nent de l’autre costé: & n’y a rien en terre, qui puis-
se plus certainement tesmoigner le solstice, que ceste
conversion. On dit que quand Hercule descendit aux
enfers, il portoit une couronne de peuplier, le dehors de
laquelle fut obscurci par la suye du feu d’enfer: mais
ce qui touchoit sa peau ou ses cheveux, fut blanchi
par sa sueur.

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.  ’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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