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Le lierre.

XXXVIII.

Le lierre ne meurt point, ny flestrit: Bacchus
Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [N4v p200] Ce don luy departit en faveur de Cissus[1]
Il rampe, il saute, il a le fruict jaune doré,
Il est verd au dehors, mais pasle quant au reste.
Les poëtes de luy ont le chef entouré:[2]
L’estude les paslit, mais l’honneur leur en reste.

Commentaires.

Cissus jeune homme, balladin & bouffon de Bac-
chus
, la terre s’estant entrouverte, y cheut & mou-
rut. La terre, desirant faire chose aggreable à Bac-
chus, fit sortir de soy une fleur de mesme nom que le
jeune homme. Ce que les Grecs nomment Cissus, les
Latins l’appellent hedera, & les François lierre. Le
lierre, aussi bien que le laurier, se donne aux poëtes:
pource que l’estude des arts & des sciences rend
l’homme pasle & maigre: mais aussi, apres avoir
beaucoup estudié, la renommee de l’homme docte
fleurit, & s’espand au long & au large. Le lierre est
pasle d’un costé, & de l’autre il est verd. Par le lau-
rier, qu’on attribuoit aux poëtes, les anciens vou-
loyent remarquer la gentilesse de leur esprit, & au-
tres dons de nature: mais par le lierre estoit designé
le labeur assidu & continuel, par lequel les arts &
l’industrie s’acquierent.

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


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    Hedera.

    Ivy

    EMBLEMA CCV.

    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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