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Tros and his race the sculptor shall employ;
And he the god who built the walls of Troy.
Envy herself at last, grown pale and dumb,
(By Cæsar combatted and overcome)
Shall give her hands, and fear the curling
Meantime we must pursue the sylvan lands, (Th' abode of nymphs) untouch'd by former hands:
Of lashing Furies, and the burning lakes;
The pains of famish'd Tantalus shall feel,
And Sisyphus that labours up the hill
Yearly thy herds in vigour will impair,
Recruit and mend them with thy yearly care
The rolling rock in vain; and curst Ixion's Still propagate; for still they fall away:
'Tis prudence to prevent th' entire decay.
Like diligence requires the courser's race,
In early choice, and for a longer space.
The colt, that for a stallion is design'd,
By sure presages shows his gen'rous kind:
Of able body, sound of limb and wind;
Upright he walks, on pasterns firm and straight;
His motions easy; prancing in his gait;
The first to lead the way, to tempt the flood,
To pass the bridge unknown, nor fear the tremb-
For such, Mecenas are thy hard commands,
Without thee, nothing lofty can I sing.
Come then, and with thyself, thy genius bring,
With which inspir'd, I brook no dull delay:
Citharon loudly calls me to my way;
Thy hounds, Tayg'tus, open, and pursue their
High Epidaurus urges on my speed,
Fam'd for his hills, and for his horses' breed: From hills and dales the cheerful cries rebound;
For Echo hunts along, and propagates the sound.
A time will come, when my maturer muse, In Cæsar's wars, a nobler theme shall choose, And through more ages bear my sovereign's praise,
Than have from Tithon past to Cæsar's days.
The gen'rous youth, who studious of the
The race of running coursers multiplies,
Or to the plough the sturdy bullock breeds,
May know that from the dam the worth of each
The mother-cow must wear a lowr'ing look,
Sour-headed, strongly neck'd, to bear the yoke.
Her double dew-lap from her chin descends,
And at her knees the pond'rous burden ends.
Long are her sides and large; her limbs are
Rough are her ears, and broad her horny feet.
Her colour shining black, but fleck'd with white;
She tosses from the yoke; provokes the fight;
She rises in her gait, is free from fears,
And in her face a bull's resemblance bears:
Her ample forehead with a star is crown'd;
And with her length of tail she sweeps the
Watch the quick motions of the frisking tail;
Then serve their fury with the rushing male,
Indulging pleasure lest the breed should fail.
The bull's insult at four she may sustain;
But, after ten, from nuptial rites refrain.
Six seasons use,
but then release the cow,
Unfit for love, and for the lab'ring plough.
Now while their youth is fill'd with kindly
fire, Submit thy females to the lusty sire:
In youth alone, unhappy mortals live; But, ah! the mighty bliss is fugitive: Discolour'd sickness, anxious labour, come, And age, and death's inexorable doom.
Dauntless at empty noises; lofty neck'd;
Shrp-headed, barrel-bellied, broadly back'd;
Brawny his chest, and deep; his colour
For beauty, dappled, or the brightest bay:
Faint white and dun will scarce the rearing pay.
The fiery courser when he hears from far
The sprightly trumpets, and the shouts of war,
Pricks up his ears; and, trembling with delight,
Shifts place, and paws, and hopes the promis'd
On his right shoulder his thick mane reclin'd,
Ruffles at speed, and dances in the wind.
His horny hoofs are jetty black and round;
His chine is double; starting with a bound
He turns the turf, and shakes the solid ground.
Fire from his eyes, clouds from his nostrils flow:
He bears his rider headlong on the foe.
Such was the steed in Grecian poets fam'd,
Proud Cyllarus, by Spartan Pollux tam'd:
Such coursers bore to fight the god of Thrace;
And such, Achilles, was thy warlike race.
In such a shape, grim Saturn did restrain
His heav'nly limbs, and flow'd with a such mane,
When, half surpris'd, and fearing to be seen,
The lecher gallop'd from his jealous queen,
Ran up the ridges of the rocks amain,
And with shrill neighings fill'd the neighb'ring
But, worn with years, when dire diseases
Then hide his not ignoble age at home,
In peace t' enjoy his former palms and pains;
And gratefully be kind to his remains.
For, when his blood no youthful spirits move,
He languishes and labours in his love;
And, when the sprightly seed should swiftly
Dribbling he drudges, and defrauds the womb.
In vain he burns, like hasty stubble fires,
And in himself, his former self requires.
His age and courage weigh; nor those alone;
But note his father's virtues and his own:
Observe, if he disdains to yield the prize,
Of loss impatient, proud of victories.
Hast thou beheld, when from the goal they
The youthful charioteers with heaving heart
Rush to the race; and panting, scarcely bear
Th' extremes of fev'rish hope and chilling fear;
Stoop to the reins, and lash with all their force?
The flying chariot kindles in the course:
And now alow, and now aloft they fly,
As borne through air, and seem to touch the sky.
No stop, no stay: but clouds of sand arise,
Spurn'd, and cast backward on the followers'
The hindmost blows the foam upon the first :
Such is the love of praise, an honourable thirst.
Bold Ericthonius was the first who join'd
Four horses for the rapid race design'd,
And o'er the dusty wheels presiding sate:
The Lapithæ, to chariots, add the state
Of bits and bridles; taught the steed to bound,
To run the ring, and trace the mazy round;
To stop, to fly, the rules of war to know;
T' obey the rider, and to dare the foe.
To choose a youthful steed with courage fir'd, To breed him, break him, back him, are requir'd
Experienc'd masters; and in sundry ways,
Their labours equal, and alike their praise.
But, once again, the batter'd horse beware:
The weak old stallion will deceive thy care,
Though famous in his youth for force and speed,
Or was of Argos or Epirian breed,
Or did from Neptune's race, or from himself proceed.
These things premis'd, when now the nuptial time
Approaches for the stately steed to climb,
With food enable him to make his court;
Distend his chine, and pamper him for sport:
Feed him with herbs, whatever thou canst find,
Of gen'rous warmth, and of salacious kind :
Then water him, and (drinking what he can)
Encourage him to thirst again, with bran.
Instructed thus, produce him to the fair,
And join in wedlock to the longing mare.
For, if the sire be faint, or out of case,
He will be copied in his famish'd race,
And sink beneath the pleasing task assign'd
(For all's too little for the craving kind.)
As for the females, with industrious care
Take down their mettle; keep them lean and
When conscious of their past delight, and keen To take the leap, and prove the sport again,
About th' Alburnian groves, with holly green, Of winged insects, mighty swarms are seen: This flying plague (to mark its quality) Estros the Grecians call-Asylus, weA fierce loud buzzing breeze.-Their stings draw blood,
And drive the cattle gadding through the wood.
Seiz'd with unusual they loudly cry:
Tanagrus hastens thence, and leaves his chan-
This curse the jealous Juno did invent,
And first employ'd for Io's punishment.
To shun this ill, the cunning leach ordains,
In summer's sultry heats (for then it reigns,)
To feed the females ere the sun arise,
Or late at night, when stars adorn the skies.
When she has calv'd, then set the dam asid:
And for the tender progeny provide.
Distinguish all betimes with branding fire,
To note the tribe, the lineage, and the sire;
Whom to reserve for husband for the herd;
Or who shall be to sacrifice preferr'd;
Or whom thou shalt to turn thy glebe allow,
To smooth the furrows, and sustain the plough
The rest, for whom no lot is yet decreed,
May run in pastures, and at pleasure feed.
The calf, by nature and by genius made
To turn the glebe, breed to the rural trade.
Set him betimes to school; and let him be
Instructed there in rules of husbandry,
While yet his youth is flexible and green,
Nor bad examples of the world has seen.
Early begin the stubborn child to break;
For his soft neck, a supple collar make
Of bending osiers; and (with time and care
Inur'd that easy servitude to bear)
Thy flatt'ring method on the youth pursue :
Join'd with his school-fellows by two and two,
Persuade them first to lead an empty wheel,
That scarce the dust can raise, or they can feel :
In length of time produce the lab'ring yoke,
And shining shares, that make the furrow
Ere the licentious youth be thus restrain❜d,
Or moral precepts on their minds have gain'd,
Their wanton appetites not only feed
With delicates of leaves, and marshy weed,
But with thy sickle reap the rankest land,
And minister the blade with bounteous hand:
Nor be with harmful parsimony won
To follow what our homely sires have done,
Who fill'd the pail with beastings of the cow;
But all her udder to the calf allow.
Inur'd the groaning axle-tree to bear;
And let him clashing whips in stables hear.
Soothe him with praise, and make him under-
The loud applauses of his master's hand:
This, from his weaning, let him well be taught;
And then betimes, in a soft snaffle wrought,
Before his tender joints with nerves are knit,
Untried in arms, and trembling at the bit.
But when to four full springs his years ad-
Teach him to run the round, with pride to prance,
And (rightly manag'd) equal time to beat,
To turn, to bound and measure, and curvet.
Let him to this, with easy pains, be brought,
And seem to labour, when he labours not.
Thus form'd for speed, he challenges the wind,
And leaves the Scythian arrow far behind:
He scours along the field, with loosen'd reins,
And treads so light, he scarcely prints the
If to the warlike steed thy studies bend, Or for the prize in chariots to contend, Near Pisa's flood the rapid wheels to guide, Or in Olympian groves aloft to ride, The gen'rous labours of the coursers, first, Must be with sight of arms and sound of The stooping warriors aiming head to head, trumpets nurs'd; Engage their clashing horns: with dreadful
Like Boreas in his race, when rushing forth,
He sweeps the skies, and clears the cloudy north,
The waving harvest bends beneath his blast;
The forest shakes; the groves their honours
He flies aloft, and with impetuous roar
Pursues the foaming surges to the shore.
Thus o'er th' Elean plains, thy well-breath'd
Impels the flying car, and wins the course,
Or bred to Belgian wagons, leads the way,
Untir'd at night, and cheerful all the day.
When once he's broken, feed him full and
Indulge his growth, and his gaunt sides supply.
Before his training, keep him poor and low;
For his stout stomach with his food will grow :
The pamper'd colt will discipline disdain,
Impatient of the lash, and restiff to the reign.
Wouldst thou their courage and their strength
Too soon they must not feel the stings of love.
Whether the bull or courser be thy care,
Let him not leap the cow, or mount the mare.
The youthful bull must wander in the wood,
Behind the mountain or beyond the flood,
Or in the stall at home his fodder find,
Far from the charms of that alluring kind.
With two fair eyes his mistress burns his breast.
He looks, and languishes, and leaves his rest,
Forsakes his food, and pining for the lass,
Is joyless of the grove, and spurns the growing
The soft seducer, with enticing looks,
The bellowing rivals to the fight provokes.
A beauteous heifer in the wood is bred:
The forest rattles, and the rocks rebound.
They fence, they push, and, pushing, loudly
Their dew-laps and their sides are bath'd in
Nor, when the war is over, is it peace;
Nor will the vanquish'd bull his claim release;
But feeding in his breast his ancient fires,
And cursing fate, from his proud foe retires.
Driv'n from his native land to foreign grounds,
He with a gen'rous rage resents his wounds,
His ignominious flight, the victor's boast,
And more than both, the loves, which unreveng'd
Often he turns his eyes, and with a groan,
Surveys the pleasing kingdoms, once his own;
And therefore to repair his strength he tries,
Hard'ning his limbs with painful exercise;
And rough upon the flinty rock he lies.
On prickly leaves and on sharp herbs he feeds,
Then to the prelude of a war proceeds.
His horns, yet sore, he tries against a tree,
And meditates his absent enemy.
He snuffs the wind; his heels the sand excite;
But, when he stands collected in his might,
He roars and promises a more successful fight.
Then, to redeem his honour at a blow,
He moves his camp, to meet his careless foe.
Not with more madness, rolling from afar,
The spumy waves proclaim the wat❜ry war,
And mounting upwards, with a mighty roar, March onwards, and insult the rocky shore. They mate the middle region with their height, And fall no less than with a mountain's weight; The waters boil, and, belching, from below Black sands, as from a forceful engine throw.
Thus ev'ry creature, and of ev'ry kind, The secret joys of sweet coition find. Not only man's imperial race, but they That wing the liquid air, or swim the sea, Or haunt the desert, rush into the flame: For love is lord of all, and is in all the same.
'Tis with this rage, the mother-lion stung, Scours o'er the plain, regardless of her young: Demanding rites of love, she sternly stalks, And hunts her lover in his lonely walks. 'Tis then the shapeless bear his den forsakes; In woods, and fields, a wild destruction makes; Boars whet their tusks; to battle tigers move, Enrag'd with hunger, more enrag'd with love. Then wo to him, that, in the desert land Of Libya, travels o'er the burning sand! The stallion snuffs the well known scent afar, And snorts and trembles for the distant mare: Nor bits nor bridles can his rage restrain; And rugged rocks are interpos'd in vain : He makes his way o'er mountains, and con
He rubs his sides against a tree; prepares
And hardens both his shoulders for the wars.
What did the youth, when Love's unerring dart
Transfix'd his liver, and inflam'd his heart?
Alone, by night, his watery way he took :
About him, and above, the billows broke :
The sluices of the sky were open spread;
And rolling thunder rattled o'er his head.
The raging tempest call'd him back in vain,
And ev'ry boding omen of the main :
Nor could his kindred, nor the kindly force
Of weeping parents, change his fatal course;
No, not the dying maid, who must deplore
His floating carcass on the Sestian shore.
I pass the wars that spotted lynxes make With their fierce rivals for the female's sake, The howling wolves', the mastiffs' am'rous rage;
When e'en the fearful stag dares for his hind engage.
But, far above the rest, the furious mare, Barr'd from the male, is frantic with despair: For, when her pouting vent declares her pain, She tears the harness, and she rends the rein.
Hippomanes, to note the mother's flame.
This, gather'd in the planetary hour,
With noxious weeds, and spell'd with words of
Dire stepdames in the magic bowl infuse,
And mix, for deadly draughts, the pois'nous
But time is lost, which never will renew, While we too far the pleasing path pursue, Surveying nature with too nice a view. Let this suffice for herds: our following care Shall woolly flocks and shaggy goats declare. Nor can I doubt what toil I must bestow, To raise my subject from a ground so low; And the mean matter which my theme affords, T' embellish with magnificence of words. But the commanding muse my chariot guides, Which o'er the dubious cliff securely rides : And pleas'd I am, no beaten road to take, But first the way to new discov'ries make.
Now, sacred Pales, in a lofty strain I sing the rural honours of thy reign. First, with assiduous care, from winter keep, Well-fodder'd in the stalls, thy tender sheep: Then spread with straw the bedding of thy fold,
With fern beneath, to 'fend the bitter cold: That free from gouts thou may'st preserve thy
And clear from scabs, produc'd by freezing air.
Next let thy goats officiously be nurs'd,
And led to living streams, to quench their thirst,
Before the sun while Hesperus appears,
First let them sip from herbs the pearly tears
Of morning dews, and after break their fast
On green-sward ground-a cool and grateful
But, when the day's fourth hour has drawn the dews,
And the sun's sultry heat their thirst renews; When creaking grasshoppers on shrubs complain,
When linnets fill the woods with tuneful sound,
And hollow shores the halcyon's voice rebound.
Why should my muse enlarge on Libyan
Their scatter'd cottages, and ample plains,
Where oft the flocks without a leader stray,
Or through continu'd deserts take their way,
And, feeding, add the length of night to day?
Whole months they wander, grazing as they
Then lead them to their watering-troughs again.
In summer's heat, some bending valley find,
Clos'd from the sun, but open to the wind;
Or seek some ancient oak, whose arms extend
In ample breadth, thy cattle to defend,
Or solitary grove, or gloomy glade,
To shield them with its venerable shade.
Once more to wat'ring lead; and feed again
When the low sun is sinking to the main,
When rising Cynthia sheds her silver dews,
And the cool evening-breeze the meads renews,
Nor folds, nor hospitable harbour know.
Such an extent of plains, so vast a space
Of wilds unknown, and of untasted grass,
Allures their eyes; the shepherd last appears,
And with him all his patrimony bears,
His house and household gods, his trade of
The frozen earth lies buried there, below
A hilly heap, sev'n cubits deep in snow :
And all west allies of stormy Boreas blow.
The sun from far peeps with a sickly face,
Too weak, the clouds and mighty fogs to chase,
When up the skies he shoots his rosy head,
Or in the ruddy ocean seeks his bed.
Swift rivers are with sudden ice constrain'd
And studded wheels are on its back sustain'd,
A hostry now for wagons, which before
Tall ships of burden on its bosom bore.
The brazen caldrons with the frosts are flaw'd;
The garments, stiff with ice, at hearths is
With axes first they cleave the vine thence,
By weight, the solid portions they dispense. From locks uncomb'd, and from the frozen beard,
Long icicles depend, and crackling sounds are heard.
Meantime, perpetual sleet and driving snow
Obscure the skies, and hang on herds below.
The starving cattle perish in their stalls;
Huge oxen stand enclos'd in wintry walls
Of snow congeal'd; whole herds are buried
Of mighty stags, and scarce their horns appear. The dext'rous huntsman wounds not these afar With shafts or darts, or makes a distant war