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represent Julius Cæsar. Mopsus laments his death; Menalcas proclaims his divinity; the whole eclogue consisting of an elegy and an apotheosis.
SINCE on the downs our flocks together feed, And since my voice can match your tuneful reed, Why sit we not beneath the grateful shade, Which hazels, intermix'd with elms, have made ?
Whether you please that sylvan scene to take, Where whistling winds uncertain shadows make;
Or will you to the cooler cave succeed, [spread? Whose mouth the curling vines have over
What will not that presuming shepherd dare, Who thinks his voice with Phoebus may compare ?
Your merit and your years command the choice: And where the vales with violets once were Amyntas only rivals you in voice.
Begin you first: if either Alcon's praise,
Or dying Phillis, have inspir'd your lays :
If her you mourn, or Codrus you commend,
Begin; and Tityrus your flocks shall tend.
Or shall I rather the sad verse repeat,
Which on the beech's bark I lately writ?
I writ, and sung betwixt. Now bring the swain
Whose voice you boast, and let him try the
Such as the shrub to the tall olive shows,
Or the pale sallow of the blushing rose;
Such is his voice, if I can judge aright,
Compar'd to thine in sweetness and in height.
No more, but sit, and hear the promis'd lay:
The gloomy grotto makes a doubtful day.
The nymphs about the breathless body wait
Of Daphnis, and lament his cruel fate.
The trees and floods were witness to their
At length the rumour reach'd his mother's ears. The wretched parent, with a pious haste, Came running, and his lifeless limbs embrac'd. She sigh'd, she sobb'd; and furious with despair,
The Libyan lions hear, and hearing roar.
Fierce tigers Daphnis taught the yoke to bear,
And first with curling ivy dress'd the spear.
Daphnis did rites to Bacchus first ordain,
And holy revels for his reeling train.
As vines the trees, as grapes the vines adorn,
As bulls the herds, and fields the yellow corn;
So bright a splendour, so divine a grace,
The glorious Daphnis cast on his illustrious
She rent her garments, and she tore her hair, Accusing all the gods, and ev'ry star. [brink The swains forgot their sheep, nor near the Of running waters brought their herds to drink. The thirsty cattle, of themselves, abstain'd From water, and their grassy fare disdain'd. The death of Daphnis woods and hills deplore; They cast the sound to Libya's desert shore;
When envious Fate the godlike Daphnis took,
Our guardian gods the fields and plains forsook:
Pales no longer swell'd the teeming grain,
Nor Phoebus fed his oxen on the plain:
No fruitful crop the sickly fields return;
But oats and darnel choke the rising corn.
Now knotty burns and thorns disgrace the ground.
Come, shepherds, come, and strew with leaves the plain;
Such fun'ral rites your Daphnis did ordain.
With cypress boughs the crystal fountains hide,
And softly let the running waters glide.
A lasting monument to Daphnis raise,
With this inscription to record his praise;
"Daphnis, the fields' delight, the shepherds'
Renown'd on earth, and deifi'd above;
Whose flock excell'd the fairest on the plains,
But less than he himself surpass'd the swains."
O heav'nly poet! such thy verse appears,
So sweet, so charming to my ravish'd ears,
As to the weary swain with cares opprest,
Beneath the sylvan shade, refreshing rest;
As to the fev'rish traveller, when first
He finds a crystal stream to quench his thirst.
In singing, as in piping, you excel;
And scarce your master could perform so well.
O fortunate young man! at least your lays
Are next to his, and claim the second praise.
Such as they are, my rural songs I join,
To raise our Daphnis to the pow'rs divine;
For Daphnis was so good, to love whate'er was
How is my soul with such a promise rais'd!
For both the boy was worthy to be prais'd,
And Stimicon has often made me long
To hear, like him, so soft, so sweet a song.
Daphnis, the guest of heaven, with wond'ring eyes
Views, in the milky way, the starry skies, And far beneath him, from the shining sphere, Beholds the moving clouds, and rolling year.
The same that sung Neæra's conqu❜ring eyes, And, had the judge been just, had won the prize.
Accept from me this sheep-hook in exchange;
The handle brass; the knobs in equal range,
Antigenes, with kisses, often tried
To beg this present, in his beauty's pride
When youth and love are hard to be denied:
But what I could refuse to his request,
Is yours unask'd; for you deserve it best.
Two young shepherds, Chromis and Mnasylus, having been often promised a song by Silenus, chance to catch him asleep in this pastoral; where they bind him hand and foot, and then claim his promise. Silenus, finding they would be put off no longer, begins his song, in which he describes the formation of the universe, and the original of animals, according to the Epicurean philosophy; and then runs through the most surprising transformations which have happened in Nature since her birth. This pastoral was designed as a compliment to Syron the Epicurean, who instructed Virgil and Varus in the principles of that philosophy. Silenus acts as tutor, Chromis and Mnasylus as the two pupils.
I FIRST transferr'd to Rome Sicilian strains; Nor blush'd the Doric Muse to dwell on Mantuan plains.
But when I tried her tender voice, too young,
And fighting kings and bloody battles sung,
Apollo check'd my pride, and bade me feed
My fatt'ning flocks, nor dare beyond the reed.
Admonish'd thus, while every pen prepares
To write thy praises, Varus, and thy wars,
My past'ral Muse her humble tribute brings;
And yet not wholly uninspir'd she sings:
For all who read, and, reading, not disdain
These rural poems, and their lowly strain,
The name of Varus, oft inscrib'd shall see
In ev'ry grove, and ev'ry vocal tree;
And all the sylvan reign shall sing of thee:
Thy name, to Phoebus and the muses known.
Shall in the front of ev'ry page be shown;
For, he who sings thy praise secures his own.
Proceed, my Muse!-Two Satyrs on the
Stretch'd at his ease, their sire Silenus found. Doz'd with his fumes, and heavy with his load, They found him snoring in his dark abode, And seiz'd with youthful arms the drunken god. His rosy wreath was dropt not long before, Borne by the tide of wine, and floating on the floor.
His empty can, with ears half worn away, Was hung on high, to boast the triumph of the day.
Invaded thus, for want of better bands,
His garland they unstring, and bind his hands,
For, by the fraudful god deluded long,
They now resolve to have their promis'd song;
Ægle came in, to make their party good-
The fairest Naïs of the neighb'ring flood-
And, while he stares around with stupid eyes,
His brows with berries, and his temples, dies.
He finds the fraud, and with a smile demands,
On what design the boys had bound his hands.
"Loose me," he cried; "'t was impudence to
A sleeping god; 't is sacrilege to bind.
To you the promis'd poem I will pay;
The nymph shall be rewarded in her way."
He rais'd his voice, and soon a num'rous throng
Of tripping Satyrs crowded to the song;
And sylvan Fauns, and savage beasts, ad-
Ah, wretched queen! you range the pathless wood,
And nodding forests to the numbers danc'd.
Not by Hæmonian hills the Thracian bard,
Nor awful Phoebus was on Pindus heard
With deeper silence, or with more regard.
He sung the secret seeds of Nature's frame;
and earth, and air, and active flame,
Fell through the mighty void, and, in their fall,
Were blindly gather'd in this goodly ball.
The tender soil, then stiff"ning by degrees,
Shut from the bounded earth the bounding seas.
Then earth and ocean, various forms disclose;
And a new sun to the new world arose;
And mists, condens'd to clouds, obscure the
And clouds, dissolv'd, the thirsty ground sup-
The rising trees the lofty mountains grace:
The lofty mountains feed the savage race,
Yet few, and strangers, in th' unpeopled place.
From thence the birth of man the song pursu'd,
And how the world was lost, and how renew'd:
The reign of Saturn, and the golden age;
Prometheus' theft, and Jove's avenging rage;
The cries of Argonauts for Hylas drown'd,
With whose repeated name the shores resound;
Then mourns the madness of the Cretan queen:
Happy for her if herds had never been.
What fury, wretched woman, seiz'd thy breast?
The maids of Argus (though with rage pos-
Their imitated lowings fill'd the grove,)
Yet shunn'd the guilt of thy prepost'rous love,
Nor sought the youthful husband of the herd,
Tho' lab' ring yokes on their own necks they
And felt for budding horns on their smooth fore-